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Gurria Supports Greek Plan

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

05 May 2010

Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has issued a statement in which he welcomed the fiscal consolidation plan and loan package agreed by the Greek government, its Euro area partners and the International Monetary Fund.

Gurria said the plan provided Greece with the breathing space it needed to bring its public finances under control. Its full and timely implementation would stabilize public debt and strengthen the economy, he noted.

The Secretary-General conceded that the plan necessarily involved painful measures, including cuts in public sector wages and increases in value-added tax and other indirect taxes. But he believed they were absolutely necessary to resolve the current crisis.

Just as important in Gurria's view, the package also foresaw the introduction of necessary structural reforms. "Some of the measures announced such as pension reform, improving labour market flexibility and boosting competition in the energy and transport sectors and among many professions, went to the heart of the current challenges faced by Greece. They were essential to boost productivity and living standards in the coming years," he stated.

By showing the political will to take the necessary action, Gurria thought Greece, with the support of its partners, could set in train a virtuous circle of healthier public finances and a stronger economy.

TAGS: tax | economics | fiscal policy | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | Greece

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