Greece in Final Round of Reform Talks

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's government is opening a last round of reforms talks with bailout creditors, just five months before the country's massive rescue loan program ends.

Government officials say that the talks with representatives of Greece's European partners and the International Monetary Fund in Athens later Monday will cover privatizations and energy.

Greece signed the first of its three multi-billion euro bailouts in 2010, after it admitted its budget deficit was much higher than initially reported and investors stopped buying Greek bonds.

To secure the funds that kept it solvent, the country has slashed spending and public sector incomes, hiked taxes and extensively reformed its economy.

But the measures worsened a recession that wiped out a quarter of the economy and sent unemployment spiraling higher. The third bailout runs out in August.

(KA)