Greek PM asks for ‘time to breathe’

August 25th, 2012 - 1:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Berlin, Aug 25 (IANS) Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said his country does not want more aid but asked for “time to breathe”.

“We don’t want more aid … but we need time to breathe,” said Samaras Friday after talks here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He stressed that Greece will meet its commitment and reach reform goals soon, reported Xinhua.

“We are proud people. We don’t like to depend on borrowed money,” he said.

“Growth should have the high priority,” Samaras said.

Merkel, meanwhile, reiterated her wish, shared by French President Francois Hollande, that Greece should stay in the eurozone, but urged Greece to meet its bailout commitments.

“Greece sacrificed a lot,” said Merkel, who referred to her talks with Samaras as “a frank discussion”.

She insisted that decisions would not be made until a September report of the troika of European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund.

Experts from the troika are scheduled to return to Greece for assessing its implementation of austerity measures and economic reforms.

In exchange of the next 31.5-billion-euro ($39.5 billion) tranche of aid, Greece has pledged to cut its spending by around 11.5 billion euros in the coming two years.

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