Greece: bridging differences with rescue creditors

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's finance minister said Wednesday the government was trying to bridge its differences with international debt inspectors in negotiations over fiscal reforms needed for the country to receive its next bailout installment.

Yannis Stournaras said Wednesday the government hoped to have at least a "good progress report" from representatives of the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank, collectively known as the troika, by Saturday night if a full agreement hadn't been reached by then. Finance ministers from the European Union countries using the euro meet in Brussels on Monday.

"Nothing is unbridgeable. We are trying to bridge our differences," Stournaras told reporters after a meeting at the prime minister's office to discuss the negotiations. He said he could not estimate how long the negotiations would take. "What we are trying is to have an agreement by Saturday night. If not a final agreement, then at least a good progress report," he said.

Greece has been relying on bailout funds from other EU countries and the International Monetary Fund since mid-2010, and has had to overhaul its economy in return. The troika is currently pressing for sweeping changes in market practices and labor rules.

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