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Eurozone crisis live: Strikes in Greece as Europe demands more cuts

Greek government ordered to find another €325m of savings by next week, in new setback to rescue deal drawn up on Thursday

7.49am: Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg who chairs the Eurogroup*, was adamant last night that Greece had not done enough – yet – to receive a second rescue package.

Juncker said that the €325m shortfall must be addressed within days. The Greek parliament must also approve the wide-ranging reform plan, and the various leaders of its political parties must also pledge to enforce the plan.

Juncker told a press conference in Brussels his position was clear:

In short, no disbursement without implementation.

Neat, but not quite as catchy as ‘No taxation without representation’. In this case, of course, there is no shortage of taxation:

The €325m black hole in the Greek budget plan was caused by the heads of its coalition parties rejecting pension reductions. If the missing funds can’t be obtained there, prime minister Lucas Papademos will have to reach agreement on alternative spending cuts or tax rises.

* – the group of 17 finance ministers from eurozone countries

7.42am: My colleague Ian Traynor reported earlier this morning that the Troika of Greece’s lenders voiced exasperation with Greek “delaying tactics”.

Ian writes:

Despite announcements earlier that the coalition government in Athens had yielded to savage new terms from the eurozone to qualify for the bailout, the eurozone finance ministers were unimpressed. The emphasis was on first getting Greece to deliver its side of the bargain.

“On the condition that the Greek parliament takes decisions on the prior actions over the coming days, then next week we can finalise decision on the overall package,” said Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for monetary affairs.

“It’s up to the Greek government by concrete actions through legislation and other actions to convince its European partners that the second [bailout] programme can be made to work.”

7.35am: Good morning. Greece’s hopes of receiving its second rescue package received a setback overnight, as its Eurozone partners warned that Athens has not met the terms of the €130bn bailout.

Meeting in Brussels last night, European finance ministers studied the plan presented by the Athens government yesterday and concluded that it was incomplete.

The European central bank, the European commission, and the International Monetary Fund are now demanding €325m in further cuts to this year’s budget before it will approve the rescue package.

The news comes as Greek workers begin a nationwide two-day strike in protest at the austerity measures that coalition leaders reluctantly signed up for this week. Unions have warned that the country now faces a “social uprising”. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds