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Greece welcomes "positive" messages from Merkel, Sarkozy

10-11-2011 10:41 BJT

ATHENS, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Greek government welcomed on Monday fresh message of support to by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Greek government spokesman Elias Mossialos called "positive" the new joint pledge made by Merkel and Sarkozy during their meeting in Berlin on Sunday that they intend to keep Greece in the eurozone and defend the European single currency zone with all possible strength.

"Any solution to the Greek debt crisis should be legally secure, not involve high-risk and not harm fundamental rights of Greece in the European Union," Greek national news agency AMNA quoted Mossialos as saying.

Amidst rumors that there could be a further "haircut" on the Greek debt than the 21 percent foreseen in the July 21 eurozone summit, the Greek official stressed that there has been no such discussion at institutional level.

Addressing the parliament on Monday, Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos noted that after marathon deliberations Greece expects a sustainable solution to its financial woes better than the July 21 pact.

Sarkozy and Merkel said that European counterparts will decide on the next steps to support Greece based on the report of EU/IMF inspectors due later this month.

The inspectors have winded up the latest round of regular talks with Greek officials in Athens. Venizelos said that the auditors could leave Athens on Tuesday.

"We are obliged to make the necessary adjustments to put Greece on a new course. Otherwise the situation will become uncertain and dangerous," said Venizelos, defending the painful budget cuts and tax hikes introduced since 2010 to escape default, slash deficits and restore growth.

The measures have caused uproars in Greece, as strikes organized by labor unions culminated this autumn.

International creditors urge Greece to speed up its structural reforms in order to secure the sixth tranche of the EU/IMF multi-billion euro aid package in November. Without the 8-billion-euro (10.91 billion U.S. dollars) installment, Greece could default in mid-November.

According to Greek media reports, foreign inspectors requested Greece to accelerate the implementation of measures in full in order to raise up to 29 billion euro (39.54 billion U.S. dollars) revenues by 2014 and slash the Greek deficit to 2.6 percent of GDP down from the 15.4 percent in 2009.

According the reviewed timetable, Greece should report a first primary surplus of 3.2 billion euros (4.36 billion U.S. dollars) that accounts to 1.5 percent of GDP next year and a surplus of 15.6 billion euros (21.27 billion U.S. dollars) or 6.4 percent of GDP in 2013.




Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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