Greece to Lenders: Give Us 2 More Years

New coalition government also wants to extend unemployment benefits
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2012 10:14 AM CDT
Greece's newly sworn-in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras looks on after his meeting with outgoing caretaker Prime Minister Panayiotis Pikramenos at Maximos Mansion, Athens, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

(Newser) – Greece is just a day from an all-or-nothing showdown with Germany—at least in the Euro 2012 soccer championship. In the world of international economics, however, Greece's new coalition government plans to ask for two more years to make its financial targets, reports Reuters. That would mean pushing its 2014 deadline, at which time its budget deficit should be down to 2.1% from 2011's 9.3%, to 2016, a delay that would require as much as $25 billion in additional funding.

That extension is part of a new government policy document that also addresses unemployment benefits: Those are also to be lengthened, doubling from one year to two. Reuters notes that party leaders will meet today to consider approval of the document. The new government has also agreed not to lay off public-sector workers, instead reducing the national payroll through retirements, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Read more Greece stories.)

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