Greece's international creditors have granted it two more years to reign in its public deficit, a German newspaper has reported. Citing a draft deal it said Greece will still receive its next trance of bailout aid.
Greece's government has struck a draft deal with its international creditors to cut its deficit by three percent of gross domestic product by 2016, rather than the previously agreed deadline of 2014, Wednesday's edition of Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.Citing a so-called Memorandum of Understanding, the newspaper said Athens has also been given more time to implement labor reforms and changes to the energy sector. Its deadline to privatize certain state enterprises has also been extended, the draft deal states.
It added that in spite of the relaxation of deadlines, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras can still reportedly expect to receive the next tranche of urgently needed aid funds, worth 31.5 billion euros ($40.8 billion), from its European partners.
Greece has been kept afloat thanks to bailout funds provided by the troika of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In return Greece is obligated to implement tough austerity measures, which have prompted numerous nationwide protests.
The troika has warned the indebted nation that it needs to make cuts worth some 9.2 billion euros next year in order to counterbalance the effects of a deep recession. Samaras has sought to persuade his EU peers that Greece needs more time to implement the necessary reforms.