Foreign experts to recommend Greece to step up structural reforms

21:49, August 02, 2010      

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Auditors of the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will suggest that Greece step up structural reforms in a report on Monday, local media reported.

The visiting foreign experts will present to Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou the report they wrote after they met on several occasions with Greek officials last week on the implementation of austerity measures and reforms agreed in May.

The troika delegation acknowledged positive steps and progress made in the execution of the state budget and fiscal discipline policies, local media reported citing government sources,

But they asked the Greek government to be more cautious on certain aspects, such as efforts to fight tax evasion and slash waste of funds due to mismanagement in public hospitals.

The troika experts also recommended the restructuring of the Greek railway system and the partially privatization of the Greek Public Power Corporation (DEI).

But the latter idea is not welcomed by Greek officials for fear of strikes by labor unions in the energy sector in case of lay-offs of workers and sell-offs of power production plants.

Furthermore, troika auditors called attention to high inflation in Greece, and stressed the need to boost economic growth and support the Greek banking system, reports said.

According to the same Greek government sources, the foreign experts also urged caution for increased costs of restructuring regional and municipal authorities, and suggested a better review of the social security and pension system figures.

Greece acquired a 110 billion euro (143 billion U.S. dollars) conditional loan package from the EU and the IMF in May to stave off bankruptcy earlier this year.

Reports said the next regular inspection of the Greek economy by the troika experts is scheduled for October.

Source: Xinhua


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