GREECE - The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have thrown their weight behind the Greek government's proposed reform of its pensions system.

The proposed overhaul - which included raising the retirement age to 65 and lengthening the duration of employee contributions - came as part of wider reforms the beleaguered country must implement before it can receive the remainder of a €110bn rescue-loan package.

In a joint statement, the three institutions said the country's pension reform was "advanced" and that an agreement had been reached on a number of "key parameters".

It added: "The authorities are conducting the required projections to assess the contribution pension reform will make to improve the long-term sustainability of public finances."

Representatives from the institutions visiting Greece this week also said fiscal developments were "positive", with central government revenues coming in "closely as expected".

They added that a number of other structural reforms respecting local administration, privatisation, the labour market and tax administration were also progressing well.

The two largest unions in the country have agreed to go on strike on 29 June to protest the reforms.