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Greek FinMin sees 'light at the end of the tunnel'
Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Tuesday expressed his optimism over a successful completion of negotiations with the troika, which were currently at a very crucial point. Addressing a Greek-Chinese Business Conference, organized by the Institute for Economic and Industrial Relations and the Confucius Institute of the Athens University of Economics, the Greek minister stressed that negotiations with the troika were hard and the package of measures were difficult. "We work day and night hoping to reach the necessary decision in October which will allow us to look at the future with optimism, leaving back past mistakes," Stournaras said adding that finally there was light at the end of tunnel.
The Greek minister said that this year's budget will be within limits accepted by the troika, despite two general elections in the country. Stournaras underlined the need to accelerate privatizations, a fight against tax evasion and promoting reforms where necessary. He said that an economic recession hitting the country was unprecedented, reaching 20 pct since the crisis erupted, and projected to reach 25 pct by the end of 2014. Stournaras said the country has covered two-thirds of a distance to achieve its fiscal consolidation targets, adding that following the implementation of an 11.5-billion-euro package of austerity measures, Greece will be one of the countries with the lowest spending rate as a percentage of GDP. He estimated that this year's primary budget deficit will reach 1.5 pct of GDP, up from an initial estimate of 1.0 pct, because of a deeper-than-expected economic recession in the country.
SOURCE: ATHENS NEWS AGENCY