Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called for â€œmore timeâ€ to carry out policy changes to address with Greeceâ€™s debt woes as he prepared to receive Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker in Athens.
â€œAll we want is a little more air to breathe to get the economy going and increase government revenue,â€ Samaras was quoted as saying in an interview with Germanyâ€™s Bild newspaper published today before the arrival of Juncker, who heads the group of euro area finance ministers. â€œMore time doesnâ€™t necessarily mean more money.â€
Limited concessions to Greece are possible as long as they are made within the framework of the second aid program for the over-indebted country, Norbert Barthle, the parliamentary budget spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkelâ€™s Christian Democratic Union, said yesterday. Options include front-loading aid for Greece, fellow CDU lawmaker Michael Meister said.
Juncker is due to meet with Samaras at 5:30 p.m. in Athens as Greece remains at the heart of the crisis almost three years after the turmoil began. With contagion spreading to Italy and Spain, the European Central Bank is working on plans to help lower government borrowing costs after ECB chief Mario Draghi announced proposals on Aug. 2 to re-enter the bond market.