The International Monetary Fund's technical team that was in Brussels to help negotiate details of a new reform package that would unlock more bailout funds has returned to Washington, Gerry Rice, a spokesman for the IMF, said Thursday. Rice said that Greek leaders are seeking a deal at a political level. "There are major differences between us in most key areas, and there has been no progress in narrowing these differences, and we are well away from an agreement," Rice told reporters at a briefing. Rice's comments are in contrast to earlier signs of a breakthrough that sent Greek stocks higher. Rice said that the main obstacles remain pension reform, tax policy and financing. "On financing, what we have said consistently is that is has to add up. There is a trade-off. The more distant the measures agreed and targets are from the original commitment made in 2012, the higher would be the need for additional financing and indeed debt relief to make Greece's debt sustainable."
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