Reports Say Greece to Get Two More Years to Reach Budget Targets
A German newspaper on Wednesday is reporting that Greece’s creditors will grant the heavily indebted country two more years to meet its budget targets. Despite high-level denials, momentum appears to be growing for such a delay, which would necessitate further aid to Athens.
When it comes to Greece’s future in the euro zone, both sides in the dispute over additional austerity measures — both Athens and Brussels — have done their best to appear unbending. Brussels has insisted that the Greek government under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pass additional billions in belt-tightening measures to qualify for further aid, while Samaras has said that his country needs more time to get its budget in order.
But lately there have been signs that Europe might soften its position. Most recently, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Tuesday that he considered it likely “that we can come to agreement on a policy that makes sense for Greece.”
Now, German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung is reporting that Greece’s international creditors have agreed to grant the heavily indebted country two more years to reduce its budget deficit below the 3 percent maximum allowed by European Union rules. While not citing sources beyond a draft version of a “Memorandum of Understanding,” the paper also reports that Athens will additionally be given a breather on deadlines for labor market reform, energy policy reform and privatization efforts