Greece’s coalition government lays out policy targets

As Eurostat released data on Wednesday showing Greece’s public debt reached 169.1 percent of the country’s GDP in the second quarter of 2013, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and coalition partner Evangelos Venizelos agreed on their stance vis-à-vis the troika in upcoming negotiations.

Samaras and Venizelos finalized the coalition government’s policy pact while agreeing to resist pressure from the country’s international lenders to impose fresh (horizontal) austerity measures in 2014. They also agreed that the government will see out its four-year term.

New fiscal measures that further reduce wages and pensions are deemed unacceptable by the coalition government. The New Democracy and PASOK agreement vows to stick with structural changes and reforms that will enable Greece to become a modern, ‘normal’ European country that serves its citizens, development and the public interest.

Meanwhile, earlier on Wednesday, EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn sent a stern message to the Greek government that any discussion on debt relief will be put off until the summer of 2014.

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(Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras. Photo: European People’s Party)