Greek prime minister defends bailout deal

DEMETRIS NELLAS Associated Press Published:

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- In a televised address, Greece's prime minister has defended austerity measures that include painful wage and pension cuts but would ensure the country receives a €130 billion ($171.6 billion) bailout deal and stave off bankruptcy.

Lucas Papademos says the alternative is catastrophic bankruptcy, echoing comments made earlier Saturday by the leaders of parties backing Greece's coalition government -- socialist George Papandreou and conservative Antonis Samaras.

Papademos says "the deal will ensure our country's future inside the euro ... A bankruptcy would lead to uncontrollable economic chaos and social explosion." He added that under bankruptcy Greeks would lose their savings, the state would be unable to pay for salaries and pensions and there would be import shortages.