Greece Denied Softer Bailout Terms...for Now
International lenders want Greece to get back on track before giving the country more time to meet the tough targets they have set it under the terms of a second bailout Greece received earlier this year, but the country’s finance minister still hopes Greece will be granted an extension to get its economy back on track.
In an interview with CNBC in Brussels, Yiannis Stournaras said no decision on the matter had been taken at Monday’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers, because it was still unclear what such an extension would mean in terms of financing for the country.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said last week that the tough austerity measures imposed on the country in return for a second bailout were hampering its recovery and deepening the recession .
"They [the troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank leaders] ask us to bring the program back on track before anything else. So the situation is quite difficult, it's not easy," Stournaras told CNBC.
He believes that, "privately," everybody accepts that an extension is reasonable.
"Certain difficulties which we should clarify with the troika in the weeks to come. So we definitely have indicated that we are going to raise this issue," Stournaras said.
He expected a decision "towards the autumn."
The Greek government has a tough task ahead in pushing more spending cuts through Parliament. The radical left opposition, which won around half the vote in elections in June, has been extremely critical of the measures.
"The government is determined to bring the program back on track, and proceed with the privatizations," Stournaras said.