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No new memorandum between Greece, EU-IMF nor new austerity measures: Greek minister

08-06-2010 11:07 BJT

ATHENS, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- There is no new memorandum discussed between the Greek government and European Union- International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials, nor new austerity measures on the way, said Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou in Athens on Thursday.

"The first review of the Greek Stability and Growth program to overcome the economic crisis is absolutely positive and the next tranche of financial aid from EU-IMF this September is secured," stressed Papaconstantinou.

In May Athens secured a 110-billion-euro (144.8 billion U.S. dollars) financial support from EU and IMF by 2014 to slash a significant budget deficit which stands at 13.6 percent of GDP this year and face a debt crisis that fueled fears of instability across the eurozone.

The first phase of the implementation of the program is over, Athens is within targets and timetables set, Papaconstantinou said during a press conference on the course of Greek national economy and the outcome of the latest round of talks with a visiting group of auditors of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF.

Efforts that focus on fiscal discipline and major structural reforms will be stepped up, he added in the media briefing which was held in the ministry building on Thursday afternoon with a two- hour delay due to a bomb scare which proved to be a hoax.

In a separate press conference held earlier in Athens the troika experts who just finished a first quarterly review of the Greek program to exit the crisis, expressed satisfaction with the steps made so far, suggesting more attention to revenues collection, liberalization of professions and markets and supporting the banking sector in autumn.

Regarding the issue of the Greek banking system Papaconstantinou announced that the Greek state will guarantee further 25 billion euros (33.03 billion U.S. dollars) for Greek banks, so that they can get more loans from the European Central Bank.

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