NEWS

Venizelos asks troika officials to relax measures

New Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday met with visiting inspectors representing Greece’s international lenders to discuss the details of a fresh round of budget cuts aimed at tackling the eurozone country?s mammoth debt crisis.

Early reports said Venizelos asked officials representing the so-called troika – the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – to relax some of the requested budget measures.

The debt-ridden country?s international creditors have said that releasing the next chunk of aid to Athens depends on the Greek Parliament passing a new package of austerity measures.

Venizelos reportedly asked for a reduction of the imposed budget measures amounting to 28.4 billion euros, excluding privatizations, so that lower-income citizens could be exempted from an extraordinary «social tax.”

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was meeting with eurozone leaders in Brussels, in a two-day summit that was expected to be overshadowed by Greece’s debt crisis and the protection of the eurozone.