European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) speaks to Greek Prime Minister Antonios Samaras during a press conference after their meeting at the prime minister's office in Athens on July 26, 2012.
Greek Prime Minister Antonios Samaras is meeting Athens’ international lenders to outline the indebted country’s new painful cost-cutting reforms in order to get the rescue loans.
Samaras, who came to power roughly one month ago, meets with the international austerity inspectors under intense pressure to implement Greece’s reform pledges.
The European Union, International Monetary Fund [IMF] and the European Central Bank [ECB] started a new scrutiny of the debt-laden country’s austerity program this week to decide whether the country is eligible to get its final installment of bailout fund which has since exceeded 31.5 billion Euros.
Samaras’ conservative-led coalition government plans to finalize a new package of proposals to cut a further 11.5 billion Euros.
The new austerity cuts are likely to affect the troubled country’s pension, benefit and healthcare spending sectors and as some observers believe, there may be further cuts to civil servants’ salaries as well.
Furthermore, the retirement age may be extended from the current 65 to 67, which means that the Greek employees are likely to be forced to work for an additional two years.
The retirement age extension, by two years; is supposed to save at least over one billion Euros a year.
Greece’s consecutive implementation of tough austerity measures shows the severity of the debt-crippled EU member’s financial crisis.
The country’s coalition government is desperately seeking to get the new bailout fund from its European partners in a bid to prevent a disastrous case of double-dip recession and a state of total bankruptcy, in which the nation would, possibly, be forced out of the bloc.
Athens has been living on international and EU bailouts since 2010, and has been forced to implement successive unbearable austerity measures, cuts and financial reforms, urged by the EU and IMF.
Earlier on Thursday, the EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged Samaras to "deliver, deliver, deliver" on the promises.