Deal in Athens

The Greek prime minister has worked out an agreement with the country’s creditors (EU, ECB and IMF) on the spending cuts Athens will have to make to ensure its future in the eurozone. “We concluded the negotiations on the [austerity] measures and on the draft [2013] budget,” reads a statement released by the office of Antonis Samaras. “We have done our utmost. If this deal is approved and the budget passed, Greece will stay in the euro and exit the crisis,” said Samaras.

The tripartite coalition government, which has been holding talks with its fund donors for four months, was forced to accept a €13.5 billion package of controversial new cuts to ensure continuing EU-IMF payments to the country.

Eurozone finance ministers will examine the package of measures at their meeting on 12 November or possibly as early as 8 November.

Time is short. Greece has to secure, by 16 November, an instalment of €31.2 billion – the payment of which has been delayed since June by its creditors pending conclusion of an agreement – to keep from defaulting on a loan. But the new package will be a test of the coalition government’s cohesion because it has to be approved by the Greek parliament.

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