World Bulletin/News Desk
Greece has inched closer to nailing down the cuts required by its foreign creditors in exchange for financial aid, agreeing 10.8 billion of the 11.5 billion euros worth of cuts demanded, a government official said on Friday.
Finalising the 11.5 billion euros in savings due in 2013-15 is key to a positive review from its lenders, due in Athens next month for a final verdict on whether they will keep funds flowing to the austerity-bound country.
"We're on a good path. Measures worth 10.8 billion euros have been identified," a finance ministry official told Reuters after a meeting of government officials late on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official did not elaborate on where the cuts would come from and said talks to finalise the package would continue on Monday.
The Conservative-led coalition has broadly agreed on the measures but has been scrambling to specify the savings, expected mainly from state salaries and pensions, and up to 40,000 public sector layoffs.
The measures have to be approved by Greece's three ruling parties and then by the troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank officials.
Twice bailed-out Greece is dependent on a second, 130-billion-euro rescue deal agreed in March to give it the funds to keep paying public sector wages, pensions and bills.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will next week hold his first meetings with European leaders since taking office, striving to assure them Athens will keep its pledges for more austerity.
He is also expected to raise a long-standing proposal that the measures be spread over four instead of two years to soften their impact on a Greek populace enduring the country's worst downturn since World War Two.
PM Mahlab said that Egypt eyes sustainable growth to improve the living conditions of Egyptians, noting that the Egyptian economy is currently recovering.
The French economist calls for redistribution of global wealth, which he says is too concentrated in the hands of the few.
Bank cites high financing costs and financing difficulties as challenges that need to be addressed to sustain growth.
Smuggling is denying Tanzania some 80 percent of receipts accrued from the precious gemstone
The Africa initiative will create "one huge free-trade union" allowing foreign investors in Egypt to more easily reach 260 million consumers from South Africa to Ethiopia.
Budapest says the collapse of the rival Western-backed Nabucco project to bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, and stalled plans to build inter-connector pipelines within eastern Europe, have left it with no alternative.
In Russia, the idea of a Saudi-U.S. plot against Moscow has become common currency as the economy struggles under the effects of low oil prices and Western sanctions imposed
Lithuania's new LNG terminal represents an end to Russia's gas monopoly in Lithuania, says Lithuania's president
The minister said the militants considered the eastern Syrian cities "safe for them" and thus transferred wheat and barley in Nineveh "to preserve it".
Decreasing oil prices are intended to pressurize and punish Iran and Russia: Int. Financial Markets expert says
Prices rise 30 percent as new president's deeply unpopular subsidy cut takes effect.
Japan's prime minister is to turn to the polls to see if his decision not to hike taxes can gain electoral support.
The agreement between the two countries, which trade around $3.2 billion in goods each year, will enable New Zealand to better compete with other countries in its sixth-largest export market.
G20 summit in Brisbane produced 800 commitments after two days of talks
The agreement gives Australian dairy farmers tariff-free access within four years to China's lucrative infant formula market, minus any of the "safeguard" caps that currently restrict competitors from New Zealand.
The shockingly downbeat report reinforced expectations Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will delay a sales tax hike, set for October next year, after a hike in the tax in April took a heavy toll on consumption.