European Council president rejects Greek debt restructure scenarios

11:08, April 13, 2011      

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European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (R) holds meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Athens, Greece, April 12, 2011. During his one-day visit to Greece, Rompuy expressed confidence the country will overcome a severe debt crisis. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)

European Council President Herman van Rompuy on Tuesday turned down Greek debt restructure scenarios, strongly supporting the Greek government's exit plan from the crisis through austerity and structural reform measures.

"The prospect of a restructure of the Greek debt is out of question,"stressed van Rompuy during a joint press conference after talks with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou during his visit here.

Greece should focus on efforts to slash a budget deficit which stood at 15.4 percent of GDP in 2009 to less than three percent of GDP in 2013 through the pledged "courageous" policies and bold privatization program, he added.

There is only a one way painful, but necessary road to overcome the current debt crisis and return to growth was the common message sent by the European Council head and the Greek premier who repeated confidence to continue on this path until success. "Greek peoples' sacrifices bear fruit," stressed Papandreou, expressing determination to step up efforts.

Greece narrowly escaped default last May aided by a multi- billion support package of European Union and International Monetary Fund in exchange of harsh measures.

After a positive start, the Greek Stability and Growth program lags in revenue collection mainly due to widespread tax evasion and some targets have not been fully met.

Therefore, this Friday the government is expected to announce the framework of a new package of measures through more cutbacks on public expenses and tax hikes.

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