Sa­ma­ras wins ap­proval of Greek 2013 bud­get to se­cure aid

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -


Greek Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras gar­nered the sup­port of enough law­mak­ers from his three-party coali­tion to se­cure ap­proval for the 2013 bud­get, a plan that aims to un­lock bailout funds and avert a fi­nan­cial col­lapse that could drive the coun­try from the euro.

A to­tal of 167 law­mak­ers in the 300- strong cham­ber backed the bud­get, with 128 vot­ing against and four say­ing only that they were “present,” par­lia­ment speaker Evan­ge­los Meimarakis said in a com­ment. “We’ve taken the sec­ond de­ci­sive step with even greater unity,” Sa­ma­ras said. “What we’ll see from now on is re­cov­ery and growth.” The 2013 fis­cal plan, which fore­casts a deficit of 5.2 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct and a sixth year of con­trac­tion, is de­signed to re­gain the con­fi­dence of its euro- area and In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund cred­i­tors. Euro-area fi­nance min­is­ters are due to­day to meet to dis­cuss Greek developments as Sa­ma­ras presses Euro­pean Union lead­ers to re­lease a 31.5 bil­lion- euro ($ 40 bil­lion) bailout tranche.

The bud­get sees Greece’s econ­omy shrink­ing 4.5 per­cent next year af­ter con­tract­ing 3.8 per­cent this year. Gen­eral gov­ern­ment debt will reach 189 per­cent of GDP next year, or 346.2 bil­lion eu­ros, from 176 per­cent this year, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment.

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