Greek FM: several eurozone countries 'want us out'

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Greek FM: several eurozone countries 'want us out'

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Investors’ worries over Greece eased as politicians, if not the public, appeared to be inching towards consensus over budget cuts needed to secure the next bailout package.

The official line was that any outstanding issues would be resolved before a planned conference call with eurozone ministers, who cancelled a face-to-face meeting.

Athens needs to make further savings of 325 million euros in this year’s budget; party leaders have been told to give written approval to reforms.

Finance minister Evangelos Venizelos warned that several eurozone members wanted to see the back of Greece.

“There are now clearly powers inside Europe that are playing with fire because they believe the decisions of the European Council taken on October 26 may not be implemented, that we won’t adhere to the conditions already set out, and who would like to see Greece outside the eurozone,” he told reporters.

The leaders of two main parties – including conservative Antonis Samaras, a strong critic of the austerity measures – have now signed pledges to accept them.

The latest batch of cuts was voted through by parliament on Sunday.

Meanwhile the government says Greek President Carolos Papoulias has given up his salary as a symbolic gesture, recognising people’s sacrifices.