NEWS

Venizelos warns of more cuts to come

Further cuts are possible for Greece to adhere to the midterm fiscal plan it voted last year, said PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, but about one month before the elections he promises that the bailout program?s terms ?could be adjusted.?

?Had we applied earlier certain elements of the second bailout package, such as the reduction of the debt and the smaller cost of interest rates, we would have progressed much more by now,? said Venizelos in the interview to be published on Monday.

He goes on to warn of reforms that will be painful and notes that ?without the people?s support we will be unable to apply them.?

Asked whether he intends to renegotiate the bailout program should he become prime minister — as New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras has promised — Venizelos says that the program is monitored every three months, before stressing that ?we are willing to implement its terms, but they could be adjusted.? He does add that Greece will need to accept its creditors? terms given it has committed errors.

In response to German popular criticism to loans to Greece, Venizelos rushes to defend Berlin?s decision to bail Greece out along with the rest of the eurozone saying ?the German taxpayer is benefiting from the sound investment of his money by his government,? as ?the German Finance Minister can borrow money almost at no cost and then lend it to us at a certain interest rate.?

That way Germany has already earned some 400 million euros in the last couple of years, Greece?s former Finance Minister says in his interview with the German magazine, while highlighting the fact that this country is not the biggest focal point in this crisis as it accounts for no more than 2.5 percent of the eurozone members? debt.