Greece: no austerity is acceptable for bailout

Greece: no austerity is acceptable for bailoutThe Greek government says the country's economy has met its budget targets and there is no reason for any further austerity measures to be imposed as part of a deal with international bailout creditors, according to AP on Thursday.

Greece has been struggling for months to conclude negotiations with its creditors on spending cuts and reforms demanded as part of its third bailout program. It hopes to reach an agreement in time for a Monday meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Thursday no further austerity should be imposed on the Greek people, and said the key to reaching an agreement was for the International Monetary Fund and Germany's finance ministry to "return to reality."

Without a deal, Greece will be unable to receive the next installment of rescue loans.

Earlier this month, the IMF published a long-awaited annual Article IV review of the Greek bailout. The organisation said that Greece's debt levels remained unsustainable and further pension cuts and tax increases were needed alongside lower budget surplus targets and more financial relief. The report came ahead of the upcoming February 20 Eurogroup meeting which may see a staff level assessment of Greece's austerity program implementation.
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