In a move likely to stun international creditors keeping debt-stricken Greece afloat, the prime minister, Antonis Samaras, has stepped up his electoral campaign with a promise to ease the austerity policies demanded in exchange for financial aid, two weeks before crucial snap elections.
Unveiling a “roadmap” of measures for a “post-bailout Greece”, the leader pledged he would restrict spending cuts and reforms that have seen the popularity of the main opposition radical left Syriza party soar.
“I personally guarantee there will be no more pension or wage cuts,” he told his centre-right party members in Athens at the weekend as electioneering intensified ahead of the vote on 25 January.
“The next breakthrough in our growth plan includes tax cuts across the board which can happen gradually, step by step.”
Both pension reform and streamlining of the profligate public sector have been set as conditions for the future financial assistance Athens so desperately needs from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Failure to agree on the painful measures, nearly five years after its near-economic collapse, has prevented Greece concluding talks with lenders consenting to provide bailout funds only until the end of February.
via The Guardian
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