Disagreement over Greek austerity deal

Feb. 5, 2012 at 3:45 PM

ATHENS, Greece, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos convened with international lenders Sunday in last-minute austerity talks, officials say.

A medium-term package is being negotiated with the "troika" -- a group comprised of representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Markets may react negatively if the deal is not finalized by Sunday evening, the Financial Times reported.

The Greek government and the troika are in disagreement over the proposed cuts that would be part of the package -- 25 percent cuts in private-sector wages, 35 percent in supplementary pensions and closure of about 100 state-controlled organizations, which would result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

Private-sector creditors have agreed to take a loss of more than 70 percent on Greek government bonds to help Greece manage its debt.

Global concern over Greece's possible default on its March 20 bond repayment of $19 billion has financial experts afraid a "contagion" could spread to Portugal and Italy.

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