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Stournaras Says The Pressure's Off

Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras doesn't want public sector layoffs Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who is upbeat about the chances for a recovery and a return to the markets next year, has denied that Greece is being pressed by its international lenders to adopt more fiscal consolidation measures or austerity reforms despite a looming $11-$14 billion budget hole.
Stournaras spoke briefly to journalists after leaving a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who has vowed never again to impose any more pay cuts, tax hikes or slashed pensions although his coalition government is forging ahead with plans to transfer or fire scores of thousands of public workers.
The Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) is putting up $325 billion in two bailouts but keeps squeezing Greece to pare its public payroll, speed privatization, go after tax cheats and cut spending.
Stournaras filled in Samaras about the country’s financial condition and what happened at last week’s meeting of Eurozone finance ministers where the chief of the bloc, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsellbloem said that Greece’s funding gap wouldn’t even be discussed until later this year or maybe next year.
Samaras is due to travel to Brussels on Sept. 17 to meet with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and European Parliament President Martin Shulz.
Samaras will reportedly say Greece can’t stand any more austerity measures as many analysts said his coalition government, made up of his New Democracy Conservatives and the PASOK Socialists, would fall in the face of more social unrest.

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