IMF denies pay cut talk

Ferries remained moored at the port of Piraeus yesterday due to a strike by private and public sector workers opposing recent austerity measures announced by the government. Greece has promised tax hikes and spending cuts in exchange for a 110-billion-euro rescue package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. An IMF official said in Washington yesterday that the loan package to Greece doesn’t mandate cuts in private sector salaries. ‘That is not part of the Greek government’s program. We agree with the government that there is no need to mandate cuts in private sector wages and salaries,’ said Caroline Atkinson, the IMF’s director of external relations. ‘Of course, there is an issue of competitiveness that the government is addressing with a number of measures in its program.’ The local press has been reporting that the IMF wants cuts in private sector wages to boost Greece’s competitiveness.

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