Greece resists IMF demands for more pension cuts: finance minister

3 March 2016
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Greece cannot accept demands by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of its creditors, to cut pensions further to achieve a primary surplus target in two years, the country’s finance minister said on Thursday.

“It (the IMF) thinks that the figures don’t add up for us to reach (a primary surplus) of 3.5 percent of GDP in 2018 and says that since you have cut down on everything else, why you don’t lower pensions further,” Euclid Tsakalotos told Parliament.

Pensions in Greece have been cut 11 times since the country signed its first bailout in 2010 and Athens cannot lower them further, Tsakalotos said.

Disagreement between IMF and EU lenders over additional reforms Greece must carry out to achieve its fiscal targets are delaying the first bailout review Athens desperately needs to open the way for debt relief talks.

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