Athens: A new round of talks between Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his coalition partners ended on Wednesday evening in Athens with no agreement on the fresh austerity measures needed to secure further bailout loans to avoid a default.
“The dialogue continues,” Fotis Kouvelis, leader of Democratic Left, the smallest party in the coalition government, told media while exiting the premier’s office.
Both Kouvelis and socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos repeated their objections to certain suggestions by auditors of the European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders, such as mass layoffs in the public sector and reforms in the labour market.
No date for a new meeting has been announced yet, but according to local media, the target is to strike a deal on the 11.5 billion euro worth package of spending cuts in coming days and pass it through the parliament by October.
After fresh talks with Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras, shortly before the leaders’ meeting, inspectors of international creditors, who have supported Greece with multi-billion euro loans over the past two years, commented to the press that the dialogue was “productive”.
The creditor’s assessment on the course of the Greek economy and the plan to exit the debt crisis expected in October, could clear the way for the release of fresh rescue loans to Greece this autumn under bailout agreements.
Without further international aid, Greece could financially collapse and possibly exit the euro zone.
Recession-hit Greek citizens, however, object to the planned new painful cuts on salaries and pensions, arguing that their households have reached their limits after rounds of similar cuts since 2010 and cannot bear more burden.
Thousands of civil servants, doctors, teachers and members of armed forces staged a string of rallies in the center of Athens earlier on Wednesday protesting against austerity measures.