Greek leaders agree on bulk of cuts

The leaders of Greece’s power-sharing government on Thursday agreed on most of the cost-cutting measures for the next two years, in line with demands set by the troika of foreign lenders, the chief of a junior coalition member said.

?We reached an agreement on the main points. There are still some outstanding issues. We are going to seek for a four-year extension [of the Greek fiscal adjustment program], said Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis after the meeting.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of conservative New Democracy party was also meeting with PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who was present at the meeting of the three leaders, described the agreement as a ?basis for strong negotiation? with the country’s creditors.

Stournaras said the proposed measures will first have to be approved by the troika envoys, expected in Athens during the weekend, before they are voted upon in Parliament.

The cuts are essential if Greece is to continue receiving funds from international emergency loans.

The meeting came a day after tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the capital in protest at the anticipated cuts.

It was not clear whether a new leaders’ meeting will take place.

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