Bailout creditors conclude talks on Greek austerity program in Athens, to return in December

ATHENS, Greece – Greek officials say bailout creditors have concluded a round of talks with the government on demanded austerity measures and will return to Athens early in December.

Tough negotiations over the past two weeks focused on 2014 budget cuts and structural reforms. Greece hopes by Dec. 9 to strike a deal that would allow release of a new loan installment of 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion).

Finance Ministry officials said progress was made during talks Wednesday with representatives of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission.

Greece has survived since May 2010 on international rescue loans, implementing harsh spending cuts in exchange. The austerity deepened a recession now in its sixth year. Unemployment has reached a record 27 per cent.

The conservative-led government will present its 2014 budget Thursday.