Greece, lenders said to have reached deal on key labor reforms, pension cuts


Greece has reached an agreement with its lenders on key labor reforms, spending cuts and energy issues, moving closer to clinching a deal before a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on April 7, sources close  to the talks said on Wednesday.

Greece will cut pension spending by up to one percent of GDP in 2019, two officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Lowering the tax-free threshold to about 6,000 euros to save roughly another 1 percent of GDP has also been agreed, an EU official said.

On labor reforms, Greece will not be forced to liberalize mass layoffs further, as initially demanded by the IMF, two officials said. Collective bargaining, which was weakened as part of bailout reforms in 2012, is expected to be revived after the country's current bailout program expires in 2018. [Reuters]