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Greece: 'Until the end of November. Then the coffers are empty.'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 5th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has given a sobering interview with German journalists. Samaras told reporters that Greece will be officially insolvent before the end of the year, and that the Greek people cannot be asked to withstand new austerity measures.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Samaras gave a lengthy and in-depth interview with reporters from the German daily Handelsblatt. Samaras reiterated that Greece needed more time to implement deep cuts demanded by international creditors in lieu of a fresh injection of cash.

When asked how long Greece could survive without new cash aid, Samaras said: "Until the end of November. Then the coffers are empty.

"I cannot and I will not deny it: Greek democracy is facing perhaps its biggest ever challenge," Samaras said.

In return, Greece has signed up to a vast program of austerity and cuts to satisfy the demands of the so-called "troika" of creditors, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Officials from all three governing bodies are currently in Greece assessing the country's progress in fulfilling the terms for receiving the aid.

"The cuts we have already made have cut to the bone. We are at the limits of what we can ask of our people," Samaras said.

"People are at the point where they are saying 'we are prepared to make sacrifices but we want to see light at the end of the tunnel.' Otherwise everything is in vain," added Samaras.

"It's about the cohesion of our society, which is being threatened by rising unemployment, like at the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany," he added. Samaras then referred to the collapse of the government that ushered in Adolf Hitler's rise to power.

"What we need is more time for budgetary consolidation -- but not necessarily more aid," he pledged, amid concerns in Germany that Europe will eventually have to stump up more to keep Greece afloat.

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