Tue, March 09, 2010
World > Europe > Greece debt crisis

Greece to take all necessary measures to solve own problems: minister

2010-01-07 00:14:38 GMT2010-01-07 08:14:38 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ATHENS, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Greece will not need any assistance, as the government will take all necessary measures to solve the country's own problems, Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou said on Wednesday afternoon.

It was the first official response from Athens to earlier comments by Jurgen Stark, board member of the European Central Bank, published by the Italian daily Il Sole, that "markets day dream if they think that other EU member states will put their hands in their pockets to save Greece."

"We don't expect to be saved by anyone, we do what we need to reduce the deficit and control the debt," Papaconstantinou said, referring to the Greek government's announcement on Tuesday on the acceleration of the timetable of fiscal consolidation.

Athens intends to reduce the budget deficit, which now surpasses the EU' s limit of 3 percent of GDP by more than four times, in three years instead of the originally planned four years.

Papaconstantinou will repeat this plan on Friday to a delegation of the EU Commission and European Central Bank experts, who arrived on Wednesday in Athens.

Before Friday, the EU auditors will hold a series of meetings with officials from Greece's Ministries of Finance, Economy, Health, Defense and Labor, checking numbers and exchanging views on drafting the country's revised Stability and Growth program, which will be presented to Brussels later in January.

"All countries are in a discussion and consultation with the European Commission. We are not alone. But unfortunately we also have a credibility gap," Papaconstantinou said on the Greek national television.

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