Greece planning to ease ban on foreclosures, insists the poor won't lose their homes

Greece's conservative-led government says it will water down laws protecting homeowners from foreclosures, but insists that vulnerable borrowers will still not lose their homes.

Since the country's debt crisis broke in late 2009, banks have been banned from repossessing primary residences worth up to 200,000 euros ($270,000).

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said Thursday his government is working on amendments targeting those who can pay off their mortgages but don't, while retaining protection for the poor.

Greece is implementing harsh spending cuts and reforms demanded by creditors in return for rescue loans that have kept the country afloat since it lost access to bond markets in 2010.

But, while largely taming runaway budget deficits, the austerity has plunged the economy into a deep recession and led to record unemployment.