Government spokesman George Petalotis on Tuesday said that any additional measures taken by the government to meet deficit targets will not involve wages, pensions and additional direct taxation.

The spokesman was replying to questions about the statements made on Monday by Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker, who urged Athens to take additional measures to meet targets for 2011.

"There is no chance that wages and pensions will be cut further, nor additional tax burdens imposed beyond what is foreseen in the agreement we made with our partners," he underlined, echoing statements made by Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou in London.

The government continues to believe that the Stability Programme it has set in motion and implementation of the decisions under this programme will be stringently followed, and that if they are stringently followed there will be no cause for concern, Petalotis said.

According to Petalotis, the government's economic team was now focusing its efforts on further cuts in public spending: "however much we may have tidied up the public sector, there is a need for further restraint," he said.

The spokesman also pointed out that Juncker had appeared confident that Greece would be able to rectify the deficit and meet 2011 targets, saying that the Greek government's programme "continues to be reliable and will prove so in the future".

Asked to comment on a Morgan Stanley report that referred to a possible extension of the EU-IMF support programme in the case that Greece was still unable to access markets in 2013, Petalotis emphasised that the government was strictly observing the targets set and expected to emerge from the crisis if the targets were met.

Consequently, there is no change of policy with regard to these and naturally whatever took us outside these targets, exploring anything else, would not help the effort we are making," he said.

On the possibility of reducing the tax burden, Petalotis again emphasised that anything jeopardising Greece's ability to meet the stability programme targets would be "hard to do" while pointing to the prime minister's pledge to make up lost incomes "when conditions allowed".

He also made it clear that the government was not considering postponing a Parliamentary fact-finding inquiry on the economy as a means of encouraging consensus from the other political parties, stressing that PASOK had an open invitation toward political party leaders but desired consensus chiefly from "social forces".

Petalos denied, meanwhile, denied that the government interpreted the result of the municipal and regional elections as a "carte blanche" for firing public sector employees.