Greece: No further austerity as part of bailout deal

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - The Greek government says the country's economy has met its budget targets and there is therefore no reason for any further austerity measures to be imposed as part of a deal with international bailout creditors.

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 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."

A cat is carried in a bag covered with a small blanket hanging from a shopping trolley while its owner buys goods at Varvakios market in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

A cat is carried in a bag covered with a small blanket hanging from a shopping trolley while its owner buys goods at Varvakios market in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

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

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By Abe Manuel 02/16/2017 08:43:00