Greek debt discussions stagnate

Negotiations to reduce Greece’s debt reached a sticking point today as international lenders rejected €2bn in cuts proposed by the troubled country


Representatives of the ‘troika’ of creditors working to keep Greece’s suffering economy afloat – the IMF, the ECB, and the EU Special Representatives – rejected Athen’s proposed cost-cutting measures.

Lenders are demanding a €13.5bn austerity package in return for further aid, objecting to proposed cuts of the operational budgets of ministries and plans to lay off an estimated 15,000 civil servants by 2014.

Instead, they insisted the Greek coalition government agree to more cuts in wages and pensions.

Greek Finance minister, Yiannis Stournaras, has repeatedly said that doing so will lead to the collapse of the already fragile coalition government.

Emerging from the talks, Stournaras said: “They have asked for clarifications and the talks are continuing.”

Greek unemployment of under 25’s is at 55.4 percent – making it the eurozone country with the most in that category out of work, with Spain at 52.9 percent.

Germany, in contrast, has a youth unemployment rate of 8.1 percent while the Netherlands is at 9.4 percent.

Unemployment across the eurozone has hit a record high in August, at 11.4 percent.