Europe

Greece: No further austerity as part of bailout deal

  • 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)  (The Associated Press)

  • Firefighters as reflected on a firefighter helmet during a protest outside parliament amid a contract dispute with the cash-strapped government, in Athens on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The government says it is lacking the funds needed to offer thousands of firefighters long-term contracts. Greece is under pressure to make deeper spending cuts as it struggles to reach agreement with bailout lenders on the terms of future loan payouts. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Firefighters as reflected on a firefighter helmet during a protest outside parliament amid a contract dispute with the cash-strapped government, in Athens on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The government says it is lacking the funds needed to offer thousands of firefighters long-term contracts. Greece is under pressure to make deeper spending cuts as it struggles to reach agreement with bailout lenders on the terms of future loan payouts. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Firefighters take part in a protest outside parliament amid a contract dispute with the cash-strapped government, in Athens on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The government says it is lacking the funds needed to offer thousands of firefighters long-term contracts. Greece is under pressure to make deeper spending cuts as it struggles to reach agreement with bailout lenders on the terms of future loan payouts. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Firefighters take part in a protest outside parliament amid a contract dispute with the cash-strapped government, in Athens on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The government says it is lacking the funds needed to offer thousands of firefighters long-term contracts. Greece is under pressure to make deeper spending cuts as it struggles to reach agreement with bailout lenders on the terms of future loan payouts. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

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."

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