5 Feb 2012

Greek finance minister fails to win support for reforms

9:12 am on 5 February 2012

Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos says he has failed to win Parliamentary backing for tough financial reforms despite lengthy talks in Athens.

Further discussions with party leaders have been postponed until Sunday, the BBC reports.

The reforms demanded by the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are required before Greece can gain access to the money it needs in the coming week to avoid defaulting on its debt.

But there is strong opposition to a proposed cut in the minimum wage from trade unions, and two of the three coalition partners who say they fear it will further inflame social unrest.