The FINANCIAL -- Greek Prime
Minister Antonis Samaras said on Thursday that "painful" cuts worth 11.5
billion euros ($14.4 billion) were inevitable to keep the country in
"Many of these cuts are difficult, painful," Samaras told a meeting of his conservative New Democracy party.
"But they are inevitable. Without them, the country would return to zero credibility and, in essence, would exit the eurozone," he added.
"This is the last package of such cuts," Samaras said.
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Wednesday that the basic framework of savings needed to unlock an installment of EU-IMF loans had been finalised.
But Greece's coalition government has yet to agree on the final details of new austerity measures to be implemented in 2013 and 2014.
Stournaras will travel to Berlin on September 4 to see German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, his office said.
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici is then expected in Athens on September 13.
The austerity measures, to include more cuts in salaries, pensions and benefits, have caused tension within the three-party, conservative-led coalition.
As EUbusiness reported, much of the debate centres on planned reductions in the pay of army and police staff that Samaras had pledged to defend before coming to power in June.
Police unions on Thursday said their members would hold demonstrations in Athens on Friday and on September 5 against the cuts.
According to the finance ministry, the programme of spending cuts will be finalised with auditors representing the country's creditors and presented at an informal meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Cyprus on September 14.
The mission chiefs of the so-called troika of auditors from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank are expected in Athens on September 7, the finance ministry said.