Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pleaded for debt relief as he set out the country's debt restructuring proposals in an austere 2016 budget. But will he get it? Sonia Legg reports
The sale of a majority stake in Greece's largest port has been delayed. It has nothing to do with the stream of migrants arriving in the country But it wasn't the best news for a government promising to stick to tough reforms in return for an 86 billion euro bailout. The government said the recent election had held up the privatisation process. It wasn't the only issue Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is talking about delaying. As he unveiled a tough 2016 budget he pleaded for debt relief (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "We will propose an extension of maturities, a reduction of interest rates and a conversion to stable interest rates. We will also propose a growth clause." He won't get it yet - Greece must prove it can keep its promises before its EU lenders will consider any changes to the bailout conditions. But ultimately most accept that's the only way forward in a country where government debt could rise to almost 200% of GDP. Nick Parsons is from NAB. SOUNDBITE: NAB Market Analyst, Nick Parsons, saying (English): "Whatever your forecast for global growth, whatever your forecast for European growth, there is no doubt whatsoever that Greece is totally unable to repay its current debts in full." The budget contains 6.4 billion euros of austerity measures this year and next. One opposition MP called it "vacuous". (SOUNDBITE) (English) POTAMI PARTY LAWMAKER, HARIS THEOCHARIS, SAYING: "We haven't heard anything that's new or that's original, really the same kind of repetitive wishful lists." At least Greece is no longer spooking global markets even if Tsipras' forecasts of growth within a year are seen by many as optimistic.