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Greece to Europe: We Need More Time

Samaras asks for 'breathing space' ahead of meeting over bailout payment
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2012 7:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is begging the EU and the IMF to give Greece a couple more years to find the $14.3 billion in budget cuts it promised to come up with under its bailout deal. Greece was supposed to find those cuts before getting its next $39.3 billion bailout check, but Samaras says the country lost time thanks to its election drama, and that immediate cuts would undermine Greece's economic recovery, the BBC reports.

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"Let me be very explicit: We demand no additional money. We stand by our commitments," he told Germany's Bild. "But we have to kick-start growth in order to cut our deficit. All that we want is a little 'breathing space.'" Samaras is to meet with Eurogroup finance ministers today, and French and German leaders later this week to make his case, likely for a two-year extension. But sources say he won't push too hard, because he doesn't want to get on his lenders' bad side. (Read more Antonis Samaras stories.)

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