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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-05

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Eurogroup eyes end of EDP for Greece

  • [01] Eurogroup eyes end of EDP for Greece

    The 12-member Eurogroup (Council of euro zone finance ministers) late Monday night adopted the European Commission's recommendation for abrogation of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP) for Greece and Germany, with Luxembourg Premier and Eurogroup chairman Jean Claude Juncker and EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia announcing that the Eurogroup would propose the end of EDP for the two countries to the EU' Council of Economy and Finance (ECOFIN) ministers on Tuesday.

    Referring to the Eurogroup discussion, Juncker congratulated the Greek government "for its exceptionally significant efforts to lead to the streamlining of the Greek economy", noting at the same time how problematic the condition of the Greek economy had been three years ago.

    Commissioner Almunia, in turn, stressed the "clear improvement in the Greek economy", noting however the need for the efforts to continue so as to achieve its full consolidation of the public finances.

    He recalled the commitment of all the euro area countries to negate the deficits by 2010, and noted characteristically, with respect to Greece, that national economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis was absolutely aware of the need for Greece to achieve this ambitious goal as well.

    Almunia reiterated the Commission's positions on the Greek economy, emphasising the need for decreasing the structural deficit, following the decrease of the nominal fiscal deficit.

    Regarding the data for the Greek economy, Almunia stressed that its credibility was now a given fact, attributing this to a great degree to the spirit of cooperation that has prevailed in recent years between the Greek and EU services.

    Regarding the revision of the Greek GDP, Almunia forecast that, by autumn, the EU services would be in the position to ratify it.

    He said that despite the fact that Greece must continue increase its contribution to the Community funds by a percentage estimated at 0.7 percent of GDP, its fiscal stabilisation would not been affected, and the country's deficit would continue to remain below the benchmark of 3 percentage points of GDP.

    Juncker and Almunia also both noted that the Europe endorses the accession of Cyprus and Malta to the euro area (euro zone) as of 2008, and expressed their conviction that the relevant decision would be taken at the EU summit in late June.

    Caption: Monetary Affairs Commissioner Spanish Joaquin Almunia speaks during a news conference on deficit procedures for Germany, Greece and Malta and convergence Reports on Cyprus and Malta at the EU headquarters in Brussels, 16 May 2007. ANA-MPA / EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

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