Greece vows to plug budget gap to avoid 'humiliation'

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Greece vows to plug budget gap to avoid 'humiliation'

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Greece will today attempt to explain to the EU and IMF how it intends to meet its financial targets, as its plight becomes even more critical.

The government is set to run out of money by mid-October unless it receives more loans.

It is under pressure on two fronts. Amid continuing protests at home, on Sunday night demonstrators outside the parliament vowed not to pay a new property tax on homes and businesses.

But EU ministers have delayed a decision on whether to release more funds. The prime minister cancelled a visit to the US to chair crisis talks.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said default had to be avoided.

“If we want the country to stop being blackmailed and humiliated – because no citizen should have to put up with humiliation of their country – we have to make three large strategic decisions as part of our national strategy. First, we have to fully meet the fiscal targets of 2011 and 2012,” he said.

But he did not say how Greece intended to plug its budget shortfall. In a conference call today, EU and IMF inspectors will be looking for more detail.

Sceptical of one-off measures, they may demand more privitisation and public sector cuts.