EU commissioner presses Greece for more austerity measures

10:30, March 02, 2010      

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Visiting European Union's commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn (L) attends a press conference with Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou (not pictured) after their meeting in Athens, capital of Greece, March 1, 2010. Olli Rehn Monday urged the Greek government to take additional measures to reduce the high deficit. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)


EU Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn on Monday asked Greece to consider a new package of austerity measures so as to meet the country's target of reducing budget deficit.

The EU commissioner made the request while meeting Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou.

It was Rehn's first visit to Greece after the ongoing economic crisis got hold of it.

"Together we can face the challenges. Following useful discussions so far, I can conclude that fiscal and structural measures already announced are being broadly implemented," Rehn said in a statement.


Visiting European Union's commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn (L) and Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou attend a press conference after their meeting in Athens, capital of Greece, March 1, 2010. Olli Rehn Monday urged the Greek government to take additional measures to reduce the high deficit. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)


The EU official expressed support to the Greek efforts.

But he noted that due to the risks faced by the country's macroeconomic and market developments, Greece should take more measures to ensure that the current crisis will be tackled.

Papaconstantinou said: "I want to make it clear that the Greek government will do whatever is necessary to meet the targets and face the crisis, including the new measures."


Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou (R) and visiting European Union's commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn attend a press conference after their meeting in Athens, capital of Greece, March 1, 2010. Olli Rehn Monday urged the Greek government to take additional measures to reduce the high deficit. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)


The Greek finance minister stressed his government's determination for a successful implementation of the Greek Stability and Growth Program and the will to continue "a most fruitful cooperation" with the EU Commission in the following days, weeks and months.

During his one-day visit to Athens, Rehn was also scheduled to meet Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to forward the European Commission's message that Greece must adopt additional supplementary measures as soon as possible to meet the deficit reduction targets.

Under EU and international market pressures, the Greek government is mulling the announcement later this week of a new package of austerity measures, according to local media reports.

Source: Xinhua
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