Greek Prime Minister Pushes for "Final" Austerity Measures


Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says that Greece could be ousted the eurozone if the debt-laden country's parliament fails to approve a new round of austerity measures. The parliament is due to vote Wednesday on a package of more than 13 billion euros in spending cuts, tax hikes and other reforms. The package and a 2013 budget must be approved before Greece can receive aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

"We must save the country from catastrophe," Samaras warned. "If we fail to stay in the euro, nothing will make sense."

Samaras pledged Sunday that proposed wage and pension cuts will be the last, as Greek society would not tolerate any more austerity measures. Samaras's New Democracy Party and its coalition partners are expected to narrowly win approval for the package when it comes up for a vote on Wednesday.

"As soon as the new measures are passed and we get the critical aid tranche, liquidity will start again to feed businesses and households, uncertainty will end, sentiment will change and the fear of a return to the drachma will disappear," Samaras told lawmakers from his party.

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