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European Commission Welcomes Greek Budget Reform

By Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

06 August 2012


The European Commission has said it welcomes Greece's commitment to structural fiscal reform.

This comes after the announcement by the Minister of Development of the top ten priorities for structural reform in addition to the recent agreement among the Greek ruling coalition partners for a further EUR11.5bn in fresh spending cuts. The European Commission has said it is “a clear sign of the commitment of the Greek government to bring about the much-needed reform of the Greek economy”.

Despite promises by the new Greek coalition government to ask for an extension to the bailout terms with a view to easing the recession, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has declared it would be necessary to regain credibility before asking for such an extension from the troika of creditors (European Union/European Central Bank/International Monetary Fund). Left-wing coalition partners PASOK and DIMAR, which initially called for an immediate extension, have agreed to postpone it, leaving the door open for the new spending cuts.

Troika representatives have recently returned to Athens to assess the situation and decide whether the next EUR31.5bn instalment of the EUR130bn second bailout loan will be made available.

Greece is set to repay in August EUR3.2bn as part of a government bond held by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Although the European Commission's statement eases pressure on Greek officials, the next instalment is not a formality and international inspectors still have to present their reports.

TAGS: tax | economics | European Commission | fiscal policy | budget | Greece | currency | European Union (EU) | Europe

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