Friday, April 29, 2011

Greek PM calls for all-out push on reform

Financial Times
April 28, 2011

Greece’s prime minister has urged his fractious cabinet to work harder at fiscal and structural reform amid continuing debate over whet­her the country should re­structure its sovereign debt.

George Papandreou said on Thursday: “We have to devote all our strength to implementing reforms in the coming months, whatever the obstacles.”

Mr Papandreou was speaking at an unscheduled cabinet meeting called after the European Union’s statistical office published figures this week showing that Greece’s budget deficit for 2010 was higher than expected at 10.5 per cent of gross domestic product.

Yields on Greek bonds soared to new euro-era highs on fears the government was losing the battle to bring its public finances under control, making a debt restructuring more likely.

Mr Papandreou’s plea followed weeks of cabinet infighting over new austerity measures, intended to put this year’s budget back on track after a poor first quarter, and over the launch of an ambitious €50bn ($74bn, £44.5bn) privatisation programme.


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