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Greek gov't to submit draft budget to parliament

Monday, 1 Oct 2012 | 3:58 AM ET

ATHENS, Greece -- Greece's finance minister will submit the 2013 draft budget to Parliament on Monday, as the government resumed negotiations with international creditors over a two-year additional austerity package.

Yannis Stournaras was meeting with debt inspection teams from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission _ known as the troika _ in the afternoon.

A group of about 30 protesters, mainly from the small right-wing Independent Greeks party, gathered outside the finance ministry. "Bastards, the gallows are coming," they chanted.

Athens needs the troika to sign off on a package of spending cuts and tax hikes for 2013-14 expected to reach (EURO)13.5 billion ($17.5 billion) so its bailout creditors can continue disbursing billions of euros in rescue loans that are keeping Greece from a messy default.

The cuts relating to next year are to be included in the draft budget that Stournaras is to submit to Parliament after his meeting with the troika _ the first official record of what the new measures will be.

Austerity talks involving the troika and three political parties backing Greece's four-month-old coalition government have dragged on for weeks, with disagreement over how the cuts will affect low-income Greeks suffering under a four-year recession.

Government officials have conceded that pensions and salaries will be axed further.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in a weekend newspaper interview, argued the country was regaining creditability with rescue lenders by making up for delays in government reforms.

"This will get better _ that's for sure," Samaras told the Sunday To Vima newspaper.

"Our partners can see that changes are now happening ... The first thing we must do is win back our damaged credibility," he said. "Without credibility, you can't negotiate."