Greek Leaders Try to Sell Austerity to the Greeks

By: AP
By: AP
Lucas Papademos says the alternative is catastrophic bankruptcy...

Socialist Leader George Papandreou leaves the Prime minister's office early Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. Leaders of the three parties backing Greece's coalition governments have objected to demands by Greece's creditors for substantial cuts in supplementary pensions and have left Prime Minister Lucas Papademos to negotiate with them. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- In a televised address, Greece's prime
minister has defended austerity measures that include painful wage
and pension cuts but would ensure the country receives a euro130
billion ($171.6 billion) bailout deal and stave off bankruptcy.

Lucas Papademos says the alternative is catastrophic bankruptcy,
echoing comments made earlier Saturday by the leaders of parties
backing Greece's coalition government -- socialist George Papandreou and conservative Antonis Samaras.

Papademos says "the deal will ensure our country's future inside the euro ... A bankruptcy would lead to uncontrollable economic chaos and social explosion."

He added that under bankruptcy Greeks would lose their savings, the state would be unable to pay for salaries and pensions and there would be import shortages.

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