Greece must cut an additional $5 billion

ATHENS — Greece still must find up to $5 billion worth of cuts to satisfy the demands of its international creditors, the country’s finance minister said Tuesday.

The debt-ridden country has promised to slash $14.1 billion off its 2013-14 budget in order to continue receiving emergency rescue loans from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

‘‘We are not there yet,’’ Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said.


Debt inspectors from the IMF, European Union, and European Central Bank concluded a new round of austerity negotiations in Athens last weekend and are set to return in early September to finalize the latest round of cuts.

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The cuts will be identified by the seven-week-old coalition government as the country battles a fifth year of recession, with unemployment near 24 percent, according to a recent government estimate.

Last week, the three parties participating in the coalition — the conservative New Democracy, the Socialist PASOK party, and the small Democratic Left party — overcame a dispute on whether some of the cuts should be delayed. The three parties, averting a new political crisis, agreed to back conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and not seek any delay in the new austerity program.

Greece has also promised to reduce its 750,000-strong workforce in public administration and the broader public sector by 150,000 by the end of 2015.

But Stournaras said on Tuesday the new government was experiencing ‘‘difficulties in reaching that number’’ and it had not ruled out reintroducing a scheme to suspend public servants on reduced pay before they reach retirement age.


The campaign was scrapped earlier this year as being ineffective, and the previous government insisted the target could be reached through attrition.

Associated Press