March 22, 2017 / 12:36 PM / 3 years ago

Greece eyes bailout deal with lenders within April

People are silhouetted under a fluttering Greek national flag atop the archaeological site of the Athens Acropolis, Greece, March 20, 2015. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece said on Wednesday it hopes for a deal with its international lenders within the month of April and is working to bridge differences on labor, pension and energy reforms.

The onus for an agreement was not only on the Greek government, but on its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders too, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told reporters.

Three Greek ministers, including its finance minister, are in Brussels this week in an attempt to thrash out a deal with creditors on reforms, necessary for lenders to sign off on a bailout review needed for disbursement of a fresh tranche of aid.

The officials decided to stay on after an inconclusive meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on March 20.

Athens is eyeing what it calls a “comprehensive deal” with lenders which would also address the intentions of creditors vis-a-vis debt restructuring for the crisis-hit country.

It wants a deal on “technical reforms” covering pending energy and labor issues before moving on to discussions on medium-term measures for debt and agreeing on levels of primary surpluses.

“(Our aim) is to reach a comprehensive agreement the soonest, and if possible, within April,” Tzanakopoulos said.

The IMF has yet to decide whether to participate in Greece’s latest bailout, worth 86 billion euros, expressing deep concerns over debt sustainability.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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