Junior coalition partner tells lenders ‘Greece at limits’

The head of the junior partner in Greece’s coalition, Fotis Kouvelis of Democratic Left, appealed to the troika and to the country’s European partners on Friday “to realize and accept that Greek society has gone beyond the limits of what it can endure» and could handle no further austerity.

In a written statement issued as talks between government officials and the troika gathered pace, Kouvelis said Greece needed «support for growth.»

He called for the immediate reduction of value added tax on restaurants and cafes, which currently stands at 23 percent, for an increase in the number of installments in which debts to the state can be paid off and for additional support to indebted households. He also called for the reduction of a special consumption tax on heating oil.

Emphasizing “the explosive dimensions” of rising unemployment, Kouvelis said a “safety net for social protection” was imperative, noting that the country cannot exit the crisis without social cohesion.

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