ANGELA Merkel has agreed to meet Greece’s prime minister in Berlin next week for a show-down at which all options will be “on the table” – including Athens’ hopes to extend the austerity deadlines of its bail-out programme.
by Louise Armitstead, Chief Business Correspondent
Antonis Samaras will travel to Berlin next Friday to ask for extra time – at least two more years – to meet the austerity targets set in its second €130bn (£102bn) bail-out.
Amid continued protests and a grim rise in suicides in Greece, the German Chancellor has agreed to listen to Mr Samara’s request to slow down the austerity drive. Greece’s economy is already in free-fall and economists have argued the terms of the bail-out programme – which include another €11.5bn of cuts in 2013 and 2014 – are making things worse. However Ms Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seifert warned: “The German position, which is a European position, is based on the memorandum of understanding, which is the foundation.”