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PM assures no new measures will be needed after deal is reached with troika [Update]

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday insisted that no new austerity measures will be required as part of a deal reached earlier in the day between the Greek government and troika inspectors following seven months of tough negotiations.

"Today a long period of tribulations has ended, and a new beginning is being made," Samaras said.

Speaking from the Finance Ministry where the last marathon session of talks was held between government officials and representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund on a string of reforms Greece will have to implement in order to receive the next tranche of bailout funding, Samaras also pledged that 5 million euros from the 2013 primary surplus - which one high-ranking Finance Ministry source has put at 2.9 billion euros - will be distributed among poor Greeks hit by the six-year recession.

He further pledged to reduce state arrears of approximately 4.8 billion euros by 2.3 billion euros before the end of the year.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said that details of the staff-level agreement, which have dragged on since September as the government haggled with the troika over a series of contentious reforms, will be announced later in day.

"These were seven very, very difficult months," Stournaras said, adding that the agreement is being written up.

"This review was the toughest we've had so far," he said.

Official statements are also expected from the European Union.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday March 18, 2014 (15:13)  
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