The Greek political leaders are under significant pressure to reach an agreement on needed cutbacks on Monday to comply with demands from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to secure a second bailout worth Ã¢â€šÂ¬130 billion ($171 billion).
After a meeting on Sunday, Mr. Papademos said that the political leaders agreed on some of the basic points of the international lenders’ demands, including spending cuts equal to 1.5% of gross domestic product in 2012 and reduction of supplemental pension benefits to Greek workers. The most difficult terms, where the government hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t yet reached agreement, are wage cuts, labour reforms and a plan to recapitalize Greece’s banks.
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos faces a strong internal opposition to the terms requested by the European Commission, IMF and European Central BankÃ¢â‚¬â€also known as the troika. Greek government officials say the reduction in wages being sought by the troika will only deepen the country’s recession and widen its budget deficit, because it will reduce both tax revenues and contributions to its teetering pension funds.
Unions representing both Greece’s public sector and private industry have scheduled a nationwide strike for Tuesday in protest against painful reforms.
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