Nobody can claim on the basis of arguments that there is a fiscal reason for new cuts, new austerity, Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos said on Friday in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency's radio station Praktoreio 104.9 FM.

Asked to comment on reports saying that the European partners consider Greece's social security system sustainable, he said: The European partners' reaction could not have been different.

"We have managed not only to meet the targets, but also to exceed them. Austerity will hinder development in a phase when the economy seems to have entered a new era," he said.