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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Finmin briefs cabinet on 'landmark' exit from excessive deficit procedure

  • [01] Finmin briefs cabinet on 'landmark' exit from excessive deficit procedure

    National economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis on Wednesday called a decision by EU finance ministers' to end the excessive deficit procedure (EDP) against Greece a "landmark" for the country.

    Alogoskoufis had earlier briefed a meeting of the Inner Cabinet, chaired by prime minister Costas Karamanlis, on the decision made on Tuesday by the EU ministers' council.

    According to the finance minister, the important thing about this development was that the effort had been accompanied by structural reforms that led to high growth rates and a reduction in unemployment.

    "The fiscal adjustment that took place in our country is unprecedented in the annals of the Eurozone, as it is unprecedented to make such a major effort for strong economic growth and reduction of unemployment simultaneously," he said.

    Noting that Greece had entered the excessive deficit procedure in 2004, after the European Commission confirmed the country's excessive deficit figures, Alogoskoufis said the government had made a huge effort to reduce the public deficit from 7.9 percent of GDP to levels below 3 percent, finally bringing it to 2.6 percent of GDP.

    He underlined that the EU decision gave the country the opportunity to make a new start in the EU and especially in the eurozone.

    "We must with every means maintain the credibility that we have won and in the next years we must proceed with the second phase of fiscal reform, which is to achieved balanced budgets. This, of course, demands a major effort but smaller than that we have been making in the last three years and will give us the option of carrying out policies that will assist economic growth and social cohesion even further," he added.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of the Cabinet in session, with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in the chair.


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