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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-07-05
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Reduction in Deficit - Optimism at EconomyMonday, 05 July 2010 14:32
Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou, in an interview, appeared optimistic about materialization of the Stability and Growth Program underlining that fiscal deficit will drop to 8.1% this year. Mr. Papakonstantinou said the state budget in the first half of 2010 met the targets set and added that the government was not planning further austerity measures. He also predicted rate of recession below 4%. Bank of Greece data show 41.8% reduction in state budget deficit in the first half of 2010.
Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou, in a press interview regarding the course of economy expressed reserved optimism saying the economy is "on the right track" and the first results are visible, which is a "significant message" to society and the markets.
Presenting data on the course of the state budget in the first half in 2010, Mr. Papakonstantinou underlined a 41,6 % reduction in the budget deficit but expressed concern over the part of state revenues and particularly to VAT collection. State revenues rose by 6,9% in the first half of 2010 and expenses dropped by 15.4% compared against the target of 4.8%.
Bank of Greece data show that the state deficit had 41% reduction in the first half of the year.
Ruled out Additional Measures
Furthermore, Mr. Papakonstantinou categorically denied additional measures in 2010. "In no occasion will there be additional measures. He called for end to rumours about additional measures that create a climate of fear among people.
Mr. Papakonstantinou said that the second installment of the rescue package â¬9 billion euros will be allocated in the first half in September while Troika delegation will visit Athens sometime between July 20 -26 and August,6.
Government Spokesman's Statement
"Today we look forward the future of our country with optimism. The country is successfully overcoming the danger of financial collapse", said government spokesman George Petalotis. He underlined that now was the time for real reforms in institutions and mentalities to create a new Greece.
SOURCES: ÍÅÔ-ÍÅÔ 105.8-ÁNA/ÌPA News item: 38186