Athens, July 5
New Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras began talks with EU-IMF auditors on Thursday, hoping to renegotiate Greece’s second bailout, as the country’s international creditors show signs of impatience.
Samaras, who was sidelined for two weeks after eye surgery, heads a three-party coalition which has promised to halt further austerity measures agreed in return for 130 billion euros ($162 billion) in rescue loans.
Crisis-hit Athens is being kept alive by funds from a 130-billion-euro ($164 billion) lifeline but Samaras and his allies want to renegotiate the agreement to avoid further job losses and put more emphasis on growth rather than austerity.
"This is an introductory round of contacts. The negotiation will take place later," a finance ministry source told AFP.
The Greek economy is in its fifth year of recession and officials warn that it could contract by 6.7 percent in 2012, much worse than an earlier forecast of 4.5 percent.
The government is expected to promise creditors that it will redouble privatisation efforts to show that it remains on a recovery path that will enable it to rejoin the world economy.