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Greece

Greece Asks For More Time To Implement Cuts

BILD (Germany), CHANNEL 4NEWS(UK), ATHENS NEWS (Greece)

Worldcrunch

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is meeting with eurogroup leader Jean-Claude Juncker in Athens on Wednesday, after asking "more time for cuts" in an interview with German publication Bild.

Mr. Samaras rejected the possibility of an exit from the euro zone and a return to the drachma, saying it would result in a "catastrophe for Greece," according to Channel 4 News.

Mr. Samaras came to power last June, promising to seek a two-year extension to the deadline for implementing cuts in exchange for two 240 billion euro aid packages.

But the implementation of these unpopular austerity measures has dragged on and some European partners, especially Germany, have grown impatient as the debt crisis continues.

"If #Greece is going to leave... I don't believe it is going to have a great impact any more," German MP Dr Michael Fuchs #eurozone#grexit

— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) August 22, 2012

"Let me be very clear: we are not asking for extra money," Samaras told Bild. "We stand by our commitments and the implementation of all requirements. But we must encourage growth, because that reduces the financing gaps."

"All we want is a little "air to breathe" to get the economy going and increase state income," Samaras also said. "More time does not automatically mean more money."

Athens News reports that Samaras is also going to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday and French President François Hollande on Saturday in an effort to get his message through.

Jean-Claude Juncker is the Prime Minister of Luxembourg and the president of the eurogroup, the meeting of the euro zone finance ministers.

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