Greek PM: On Final Stretch Towards Funding Deal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday his government was on the final stretch of negotiations with its international lenders on a cash-for-reforms deal that would not involve further pension cuts and harsh austerity.

After four months of talks with its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund, Athens is scrambling for a deal that could release up to 7.2 billion euros ($7.9 billion) in remaining aid to avert bankruptcy as it remains shut out of bond markets.

Talks have stumbled over pensions, labour reform, fiscal targets and increases in value-added tax.  “We are on the final stretch of a painful and tough period shaped by the government’s negotiations with the institutions,” Tsipras, back from an EU summit in Riga, told his party’s central committee.