Europe

Greece rules out "what if" austerity measures sought by IMF

European Council President Donald Tusk, right, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, center, welcome Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upon his arrival for an EU Japan leaders' meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday May 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

European Council President Donald Tusk, right, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, center, welcome Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upon his arrival for an EU Japan leaders' meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday May 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

A Greek government official says the country will not approve contingency savings measures that the International Monetary Fund is demanding in case the country does not meet budget targets set out by bailout lenders.

Deputy Defense Minister Dimitris Vitsas told private Antenna television Wednesday that the contingency spending cuts could not be approved under Greek law, and argued the action would undermine international confidence in Athens.

Disagreements between Greece, the IMF, and eurozone lenders have for months held up approval of the country's next batch of bailout loans.

Greece has committed to a new round of austerity measures and high budget surpluses to cope with the national debt that is set to peak this year at 183 percent of gross domestic product.

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Online: EU Commission forecast for Greece: http://ow.ly/4npgRg