Greece will not yield to pressure to impose further austerity measures, said Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, responding to the Eurogroup's call for the indebted country to step up reform efforts in order to secure its next tranche of aid.
"No austerity measures are needed. They are dangerous; we should let the automatic stabilizers work. We are willing to take structural measures with a fiscal impact, but not austerity measures," Stournaras told CNBC late Thursday.
"Greece has achieved tremendous progress up to now, people have made huge sacrifices, so we have to be very careful now what kind of measures we implement to close the fiscal gap, if any," he added.
Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Thursday said Greece must urgently meet key commitments it has made to its international creditors in order to unlock a one-billion-euro ($1.3 billion) loan installment, which is needed to meet its funding needs next year.
(Read more: Troika set to get tough over Greece budget shortfall)
Greece's international lenders, known as the "troika", estimate that the country faces a 2 billion euro shortfall in achieving its primary budget surplus target of 1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) next year. However, the government believes it could fall short by just 500 million euros.