Greek minister says opposition support needed for austerity


A senior minister in Greece's left-wing government says austerity measures being demanded by bailout lenders may require approval from opposition lawmakers to take effect.

Interior Minister Panos Skourletis said Monday in a radio interview that it was a "democratic imperative" for the measures to receive backing beyond the support of government lawmakers.

The government has a slim majority in the 300-member parliament and is struggling to conclude the current round of negotiations with European institutions and the International Monetary Fund to unfreeze bailout installments.

Continued austerity beyond 2019 is being demanded by lenders as a condition.

Skourletis described his comments as expressing his personal opinion, but they appeared to contradict earlier statements by government officials that only simple approval from parliament would be needed.