Samaras: Greece needs 'air to breathe'

By AP Updated at 2012-08-22 06:48:39 +0000


BERLIN (AP) — Greece's prime minister is insisting ahead of a visit to Germany that Athens doesn't want more money from creditors, but is indicating it would like more time to enact reforms and spending cuts.

Antonis Samaras pledged before coming to power to seek a two-year extension to the deadline for implementing unpopular cuts demanded in exchange for international aid. But creditors such as Germany are reluctant to grant significant concessions.

Samaras will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday. He was quoted Wednesday as telling the Bild daily: "We are not asking for extra money."

He added: "All we want is a little 'air to breathe' to get the economy going and increase state income."

Samaras says that "more time does not automatically mean more money." He didn't give a timeframe.