Finance Ministry denies 'island evacuation' report

Greece's Finance Ministry on Thursday denied media reports that troika officials were allegedly pressing the Greek government to evacuate thinly populated islands in order to cut costs.

The online version of Proto Thema newspaper earlier on Thursday reported that the country's foreign lenders suggested that Greeks residing on islands with less than 150 inhabitants, be relocated elsewhere.

The newspaper was quoting comments allegedly made by Merhcant Marine and Aegean Minister Costas Mousouroulis during a meeting with representatives of Greece's shipping industry.

?I told them [the troika] that they must be out of their minds. This is not something we will negotiate,? Mousouroulis was quoted as saying.

In a statement, the Finance Ministry said the reports were just ?rumors.?