Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras asked EU-IMF creditors on Friday to extend a tough debt bailout programme by two years so as to ease the pain on an economy struggling in a deep recession.
In exchange, Samaras promised that his newly elected government would pledge to meet the budget commitments they are demanding.
"We ask for an adjustment," Samaras said in a speech to parliament as he presented his government's targets for the next four years, promising to push through a privatisation drive and keep Greece in the eurozone.
"We would like an agreement" with our partners and creditors as it is "to reach the programme's objectives that we must change aspects of it that are making our recession worse," Samaras said.
"We will do everything to change what needs to be changed, fight against recession so that the country meets its targets ... while reinforcing our country in the heart of the euro and the European Union," Samaras said.
"We will replace everything (in the bailout programme) that creates unemployment," he added.
At the beginning of his speech, he stressed that the "the goal of the government is to guarantee the place of Greece in the eurozone against those who want to undermine it."
Samaras also promised the "closure or merger of several state entities" before the end of the year and faster privatistation, inlcluding the national railway company and "strategic units" of the electric power utility.
Samaras said his government would offer a tax amnesty to Greeks who repatriated funds from abroad.
Samaras address to parliament begins more than two days of debate that will culminate with a vote of confidence on Sunday which his three-party coalition is expected to win.
With the speech, Samaras formally begins what will certainly be a difficult four-year mandate with Greece mired in a fifth year of recession despite two international bailouts and a raft of reforms.