22/08/2012 03:12 BST | Updated 22/08/2012 05:13 BST

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras Needs 'More Time' To Make Cuts As Future In Euro Hangs In Balance

The Greek Prime Minister has pleaded for "breathing space" to slash spending in the trouble nation, with talks about the country's future in the Euro about to restart.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, told German newspaper Bild that Greece needed more time to implement crucial reforms and cuts of €11.5bn, which is the condition for receiving the country's next bailout instalment of €31.5bn in September.

Samaras has meetings scheduled this week with head of the eurozone Luxemburg's Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday and French President Francois Hollande on Saturday.

greece recession

Greek employees protest in front of Hadrian's Arch during a 24-hour strike in Athens

He is expected to suggest Greece be given a further two years to make the cuts, to ease the crisis in a country, and to make up for time lost after Greece had to call new elections.

Earlier this month, new date showed that the number of Greeks out of work has risen to a new high, 23.1 per cent of the population with more than one million people unemployed.

Cuts have already meant drastically reduced public spending, and the slashing of benefits, pensions and public sector salaries.

Almost 55 per cent of Greeks aged 15-24 are out of work.

Mr Samaras told the newspaper: "Let me be very explicit: we demand no additional money.

"We stand by our commitments.

"But we have to kick-start growth in order to cut our deficit. All that we want is a little 'breathing space' to revive the economy quickly and raise state income.

"We need to get out of this negative psychology, which is like a black hole.

"Greeks have voted for a new government to put the country on a new course.

"We are making progress in structural reforms and privatisations.

"And it is not fair when some people in Europe want to keep pushing us back into this hole."

Eurozone leaders have so far resisted any suggestion of softening bailout terms, especially in Germany where Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle insisted Athens must stick to the terms already agreed.