The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was all smiles as he arrived for bailout talks at Parliament but the day ended badly. He reached a major stumbling block in trying to agree the terms of is its bailout package. Two parties in the coalition – namely the Democratic Left and the PASOK Socialist parties – have said a resounding NO to the proposed austerity measures when it comes to jobs and pay. The Government needed to agree 11.5 billion euros (£9.3bn) worth of cuts dictated by the so-called troika (the EU, European Central Bank and IMF) before they’ll release badly-funds to Greece. But that’s now not going to happen until everyone in the government sees eye-to-eye over the savings they need to make. And Democratic Left leader, Fotis Kouvelis, was emphatic:
"I won't accept or vote the labour reforms the troika demands, and neither will the deputies of this party. The labour rights are already crippled and these troika demands are nothing more than a decision to eliminate what's left. This will be my stance, steady and unchanged, until the end. These troika demands have no fiscal benefit for the country."
It’s Greece’s fifth year of recession. One in four people there are out of work and Prime Minister Samaras is standing firm on the cuts. Otherwise the country goes bankrupt.
Written and presented by Marverine Cole