World Bulletin / News Desk
Greek socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos warned that the country's recession would be deeper than projected this year, and called for extending the deficit-cutting plan to three years, at a meeting with inspectors from the EU, European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF.
The socialists are one of the three parties comprising Greece's new coalition government that emerged after a June 17 vote, keen to soften the punishing terms of a bailout that is keeping the debt-laden country afloat while driving it deeper into recession.
Athens, due to run out of cash in weeks without support from the troika of the EU, International Monetary Fund and ECB, has fallen behind agreed targets partly due to a two-month political limbo of repeat elections.
The troika's inspectors are on a fact-finding mission in Athens, reviewing Greece's faltering progress on fiscal adjustment and reforms under a 130 billion euro ($162.6 billion) bailout deal.
"Mr. Venizelos insisted on the need to agree on a new, updated medium-term fiscal strategy programme," a statement from his office said on Friday.
"He raised the issue of revising the bailout in line with the procedures foreseen in it and extending the time period of the fiscal adjustment to three years," the statement said.
Set to contact
The meeting with Venizelos lasted a little more than an hour. The inspectors have already met with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and will meet Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Sunday.
With Greece's economy set to contract by more than 5 percent in 2012, its fifth straight year of recession, and with almost one in four Greek workers jobless, the government says the austerity has become intolerable.
On Saturday, in his first policy speech since taking office, Samaras said his aim was not to demand a change of the goals set in the 130 billion euro bailout deal, but in the austerity policies imposed to meet them.
A Metron Analysis opinion poll published by weekly newspaper Ependytis on Saturday showed Greeks are equally split on whether the country should stick to the agreed bailout terms or ditch them.
The poll showed 48 percent were in favour of sticking with the bailout and efforts to improve it, while another 48 percent believed it should be renounced for having failed.
A 55 percent majority thinks Greece will avoid bankruptcy versus 40 percent who believes it will not. A 56 percent majority see the euro zone withstanding the crisis while 39 percent expect the single currency bloc to eventually dissolve.
Asked to comment on the viability of the new coalition government, 48 percent felt the country would be soon led to new elections, while 46 percent expected the government to stay in power for at least one to two years.
Depreciation of emerging market currencies, combined with low commodities prices, have made investors around the globe nervous
Global growth at further risk from Chinese asset price deflation, and US interest rate increases, Moody's says
Traders fear Chinese government will withdraw support measures markets
European Commission president 'convinced' three-year plan will boost investment in EU
Deal aims to bolster fight against tax fraud through exchange of financial information on Turks holding accounts in US and vice versa
Vessels were delivered to port of Alexandria on June 17
The economic cost of violence according to the 2015 Global Peace Index has reached a staggering $14.3 trillion with Syria the least peaceful country.
The leading opposition lawmaker has said that Turkish President Erdogan is open to all possiblities for a coalition.
Qatar has filed a lawsuit against the leader of the National Front in France for his comments regarding "terror" activities.
Saudi Arabia will put in place an electronic bracelet system for all pilgrims visiting the country to perform their Hajj duties.
After U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank was poised to raise interest rates, European stock markets fall.
Italian company Enel will invest 18 billion euro for renewable energy sources in Africa.
Azerbaijani president said in a statement that Southern Gas Corridor project will supply neighboring and European countries for a 100 years
Oil prices rose above $60 due to Iran's call for oil production cut
Economic growth in the Euro-Zone is not at desired levels.
Director and Global Head of Islamic Finance at Standard & Poor's says that growing market for sukuk and new players mark 'significant interest' in Islamic finance.