Greek PM pledges to help less well-off

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Greek PM pledges to help less well-off

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Greece’s prime minister has warned of another tough year ahead as the country faces tough austerity measures to stay in the euro.

While visiting a centre for the homeless in Athens, Lucas Papademos said efforts would be increased to help those most in need.

Athens, however, is struggling to agree with banks on a debt swap deal to reduce its debt mountain, a key part of a second, 130 billion euro bailout package.

Some analysts feel an agreement on that is far from certain. Financial expert, Vaggelis Agapitos believes 2012 will be a year to forget for Greece: “First of all we will see very difficult negotiations on the PSI with regard to the new loan agreement. These will be painful, very painful for Greek people.”

The Greek economy is set to contract for the fifth year in a row this year with fresh record high rates of unemployment as it battles a crisis that has spread turmoil across the eurozone.