NEWS

PM issues ultimatum to ministers over cuts

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has issued an ultimatum to his ministers urging them to come up with 11.5 billion euros in savings for 2013 and 2014 in line with the demands of Greece's foreign lenders.

Should the ministers fail to deliver, the conservative leader warned, the responsibility will pass to the finance ministry and the premier who will decide where the cuts will be made.

The ultimatum also gave ministers one week to compile a list of all properties owned by their respective ministries.

The decision was made after talks Monday between Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and cabinet colleagues failed to produce an agreement on the costcutting measures mandated by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for the next two years.

Reports on Tuesday suggested that Samaras is irked by the reluctance of his ministers to come up with any pragmatic proposals. So far, proposed cuts would save no more than 5.6 billion euros, according to reports.

Stournaras was expected to meet with Samaras at 2 pm.

Speaking to Vima FM on Tuesday, coalition partner Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK socialists said that deepening recession made the government's mission to come up with the 11.5 billion euros ?almost impossible.?

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