June 21 - Greek leaders say they will ask their EU and IMF partners for a two-year extension to meet their bailout targets. Sarah Sheffer reports.
Greece's new government is asking lenders for more time. Greece says it needs two more years to meet the terms of the international bailout that is keeping the country from bankruptcy. The government will also seek to extend unemployment benefits and limit public sector layoffs. But analysts warn that it will be no easy task. (SOUNDBITE) (English) THANOS VEREMIS, POLITICAL HISTORY PROFESSOR FROM THE HELLENIC FOUNDATION FOR EUROPEAN AND FOREIGN POLICY SAYING: "We are already out of time. I mean these 40 days, or whatever it was between elections, have decimated the public sector, I mean it's not working. It will take a Herculean task to put it back in operation again." The conservative New Democracy party won the most seats in the new parliament on a promise to push through spending cuts imposed by European authorities. But after the vote, party chief Antonis Samaras said the euro zone's memorandum of understanding with Greece should be modified. European Union finance ministers are to meet in Luxembourg on Thursday to discuss Greece and the European debt crisis. Sarah Sheffer, Reuters