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"First Aid" for the Greek economy from ECB and IMF

17 February 2010 / 17:02:36  GRReporter
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Control panel of experts from the European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), headed by the Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, is expected to arrive in Athens in one week. The purpose of the visit is to verify the implementation and results of the measures announced in the stability program of the Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou. The European experts want to make sure of the state and efficiency of the local economic reform. Their task will be to gain a clear picture of the pace of implementation of the stability and development program. After verifying the Euro experts will have to consider what further measures will need to be applied for the restoration of stability in the country. The economic crisis in Greece constitutes a real threat to the stability of the eurozone, which made the name of the Balkan country a leading title in the world media. So far Greece has not formally requested financial help, but if necessary, the European Commission confirmed that it will financially support the Mediterranean country. European experts have given no concrete plan of action, but confirmed that if necessary, "the Commission has the means and mechanisms to ensure the stability of the eurozone." 

Conclusion after the end of the Ecofin meeting in Brussels is that Greece must introduce mandatory measures to reduce the government deficit. EUROGROUP President Jean-Claude Juncker is definite that without the introduction of further changes in the economic policy of the country, a talk about financial stability is impossible. In particular, a VAT raise by 2% will be introduced in the revenue policy, which should bring to the state treasury an additional two billion euros. Greeks can expect additional new appreciation of all excisable goods. Particular aggravation is expected by increase in the implicit tax on fuel. Experts from Brussels are certain that 13th and 14th salary in the public sector should not be given and some additional cuts in the structure of public administration should be undertaken. On March 16, Greece must submit a detailed report with the results of the reform in the country and whether Budget 2010 and the stability and development objectives have been met. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. "We will exit this economic crisis socially and politically stronger," said Papandreou after the meeting between the two leaders and boldly added: "We are solely responsible for the economic situation in which we find ourselves and we will find a way out of it alone." Greek Prime Minister assured the Russian country that the new government of PASOK will continue all the good practices between the two countries, established by previous governments.

Tags: Ecofin EUOGROUP Jean Claude Juncke Papandreou Economy in Greece
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