March 29, 2017 / 9:59 AM / 10 months ago

Greece, EU/IMF lenders reach deal on key labour reforms, pension cuts in bailout review talks - sources

ATHENS, March 29 (Reuters) - Greece has reached an agreement with its lenders on key labour reforms, spending cuts and energy issues, moving closer to clinching a preliminary deal before a meeting of euro zone 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 labour reforms, Greece will not be forced to liberalise 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 programme expires in 2018. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou)

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