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EUROPEAN UNION RECOGNISES GREEK PROGRESS

EUROPEAN UNION
Greece has taken effective action to correct its excessive fiscal deficit, the European Commission said in a report released on Monday. The report noted that Greece managed to improve its structural balance in the period 2010-2012 by more than 10 percentage points – which was recommended by the European Council for the period 2009-2014.

It also stressed that Greece cut its structural deficit by 13.5 percentage points, from 14.8 pct in 2009 to 1.3 pct in 2012, while its fiscal deficit fell from 15.6 pct of GDP in 2009 to 6.3 pct in 2012. Greece also successfully implemented measures to stabilize its public finances for the period 2013-2014.

The state budget, adopted in November 11, 2012, included a package of additional measures worth 9.2 billion euros, or 5 pct of GDP, aimed at reducing a primary budget deficit in 2013. These measures are included in a consolidation programme worth 13.5 billion euros for the period 2013 and 2014.

The Commission noted that the biggest part of this package of fiscal measures has been largely implemented. The report said that the goals for primary surplus should remain at 0.0 pct of GDP this year, 1.5 pct in 2014, 3.0 pct in 2015 and 4.5 pct in 2016.

The European Commission noted that despite progress made in the fiscal sector and implementation of reforms, there still were risks which could affect fiscal goals in the future. An economic recovery faces hurdles from a fiscal consolidation effort and a slow growth in the Eurozone.

At the same time, reforms in key-sectors, such as taxation and public administration could face resistance from vested interests, while further progress in the reform of markets of product and services will be needed.

The Commission stressed it was important to strictly adhere to the agreed policy which will reduce uncertainties and strengthen confidence, contributing in containing the effects of a recession in the society and in unemployment. Conditions to increase investments could improve after the recapitalization of banks, through foreign capital flows and larger absorption of community funds.

Last Updated Tuesday, 14 May 2013
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