Greek PM: Remaining in euro "is only choice"

November 14, 2011 - 2:50 PM
Greece Financial Crisis

Left wing protesters demonstrate outside the Greek parliament against austerity measures during a rainfall in Athens, on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011. Several dozen protesters demonstrated on Athens' main Syntagma square as the parliament was sitting to debate new the interim government on Monday evening. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's new prime minister says he is determined to keep the country in the eurozone, and urged political leaders to back a written commitment for a new massive debt deal.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was sworn in last week to head a short-term coalition government supported by the outgoing Socialists and the rival conservatives. The technocratic government was created to secure the approval of a new massive bailout worth euro130 billion ($177 billion) from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

Papademos presented an outline of his policies to parliament on Monday, describing Greece's membership in the 17-nation eurozone as "our only choice." He spoke hours after conservative leader Antonis Samaras defied a European Union demand to provide a written commitment to the new debt agreement.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — New Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos says the country's budget deficit will reach 9 percent of gross domestic product this year, higher than earlier targets.

Papademos was sworn in last week to head a 15-week coalition government backed by the outgoing Socialists and rival conservatives, created to secure the approval of a new massive bailout worth euro130 billion ($177.6 billion) from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

Papademos presented an outline of his policies in parliament on Monday, promising faster structural reforms and declaring that Greece has already met requirements to receive the next euro8 billion ($10.9 billion) rescue loan installment, vital to avoid bankruptcy.