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Greek Coalition Leaders Mull New Austerity Measures

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was locked in talks late on February 8 with coalition party leaders to reach agreement on drastic austerity measures.

The talks, which have been postponed several times, aim at securing a new 130 billion euro ($170 billion) international bailout program to avoid a default in March.

Papademos is reported to have made final changes to a draft text in night-time talks on February 7 involving officials from the European Union, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank.

Reports said the accord could include a 20 percent reduction in the minimum wage, pension cuts, and 15,000 civil service job lay-offs.

The meeting of the coalition partners is taking place after a general strike on February 7 disrupted public transport services, while some 20,000 people also demonstrated against new austerity measures.

Compiled from agency reports