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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-08-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] EU-IMF on Greece's economic programme

  • [01] EU-IMF on Greece's economic programme

    ANA-MPA/At the end of the first quarterly review of the Greek government's economic programme on Thursday by staff teams from the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an EC, ECB and IMF statement said the programme had made a "strong start" and that the way should now be clear for the disbursement of the next installment of the 80 billion euro loan agreed with the EU and the 30 billion euro Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF.

    EC, ECB and IMF staff teams have been in Athens since July 26.

    The full statement released was as follows:

    "Our overall assessment is that the programme has made a strong start. The end-June quantitative performance criteria have all been met, led by a vigorous implementation of the fiscal programme, and important reforms are ahead of schedule. However, important challenges and risks remain.

    The contraction in the economy is in line with May programme projections: GDP is expected to decline by 4 percent in 2010 and some 2.5 percent in 2011. Inflation is higher than expected-we have revised our estimate for 2010 to 4.75 percent-pushed up by indirect tax increases. With no signs of second-round effects, inflation is expected to decline rapidly.

    In the fiscal area, the authorities have kept spending significantly below budget limits at the state level. This has offset slippages caused by problems in controlling expenditures at the sub-national level (local governments, hospitals, social security funds), and the overall deficit target for end-June was met. Going forward, to address potential risks to fiscal targets, it is critical to tighten expenditure control and monitoring, in particular at sub-national levels. Another key challenge is to further strengthen tax administration, including to reduce tax evasion by high-income and wealthy individuals. This is essential to secure tax revenues and to promote the overall fairness of the adjustment program.


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