AP News

News Summary: Greek deal on austerity elusive

ELUSIVE DEAL: Leaders behind Greece's coalition government failed to agree Thursday on details of an austerity package that is crucial to the financial survival of the country.

THE BACKGROUND: The Greek government has to come up with a package of budget cuts worth at least €11.5 billion ($15 billion) if it's going to get bailout cash from international creditors. Without the money, Greece faces the real prospect of defaulting on its debts and abandoning the euro.

THE OUTLOOK: But the three key leaders involved in the talks appear to be at odds over how to make further cuts to such items as benefits, salaries and pensions. Critics say it's just going to make the recession worse and make it more difficult for Greece to pay down its debts.

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