Greece has announced a new set of severe measures to meet deficit reduction targets and stamp out speculation that it will be expelled from the European single-currency zone.

The measures include a two-year property tax to make up the revenue shortfalls that have reached the level of $3 billion this year alone.

We need about 2 billion euros and a bit for us to cover our goals for this year, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said.

Greece's government has been reluctant to take new austerity measures that would deepen the recession, which it blames for its inability to meet this year's deficit target of 7.6 percent of gross domestic product.

As part of the new cost-saving measures, Venizelos said, the government would also move to slash the salaries of elected officials, including the president's, by 7 percent.

Over the weekend, thousands poured onto the streets of Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city, to protest austerity policies. In Athens,  youths firebombed a police bus in retaliation for the detention of more than 30 of the protesters in Thessaloniki.

It is unclear whether the new measures will ease creditors' concerns.

Recent polls showed the ruling Socialist party falling further behind conservatives.

The measures aim to meet deficit targets of 17.1 billion euros ($23.6 billion) in 2011 and 14.9 billion euros in 2012, covering a 2 billion-euro shortfall for this year that has been exacerbated by a deepening recession, Prime Minister George Papandreou said.

The salary cuts and taxes come after the euro slumped to a six-month low at the end of last week and the yield on Greek two-year notes surged to a record 57 percent on the concern that the country is sliding closer to default.

Papandreou vowed Saturday that the country would meet its budget targets. In a nationally televised address, he also said the government's first priority was to save the country from default.