Griekenland ogen revival zonder gevaar bailout doelen


ATHENE |
Di jul 3, 2012 3:39pm EDT

ATHENE (Reuters) – Greece’s new government will focus on reviving its recession-hit economy without missing targets under a foreign bailout, a deputy finance minister said on Tuesday, in a bid to assuage concerns it would renege on commitments to its lenders.

Athens wants to take advantage of a shift in Europe towards more growth-oriented measures by tweaking the mix of measures in the 130-billion-euro rescue, but would not try to change overall fiscal targets in the plan, Christos Staikouras said.

The climate is becoming more favorable to changes and adjustments provided we meet our commitments and work towards implementing targets,” Staikouras, one of two deputy finance ministers, told a conference.

The government can make changes, as long as these are in line with the targets of the program.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s conservative-led government took office less than two weeks ago but has already outlined a wishlist of changes to the bailoutincluding an additional two years to eliminate the primary deficit.

De belangrijkste oppositiepartij Syriza, die slechts nipt verloren verkiezingen van vorige maand, wil verscheuren de bailout deal.

Buitenlandse geldschieters van Griekenland – de EU, Europese Centrale Bank en het Internationaal Monetair Fonds – hebben gewaarschuwd er is weinig speelruimte. Ze beginnen een recensie deze week van de Griekse gebrekkige vooruitgang in de fiscale aanpassingen en hervormingen na weken van politieke verlamming tijdens de verkiezingen in mei en juni.

De regering heeft betoogd dat een andere beleidsmix nodig is als gevolg van een dieper dan verwachte recessie in Griekenland, waardoor het snijden van schulden nog moeilijker.

Staikouras citeerde een studie van de KEPE denktank voorspellen van de Griekse economie zou door krimpen 6.7 procent dit jaar, ruim boven een Bank van Griekenland voorspelling voor een 5 procent krimp in 2012.

“Aangename verrassing”

“We hebben onderstreept dat het noodzakelijk is om aanvullende voorwaarden van toepassing zijn om de stijgende werkloosheid te keren, contain recession and help the economy recover,” Staikouras zei.

A basic aim is the economy’s macro-economic adjustment towards smaller twin deficits.

He added that the government would also try to pay out arrears of about 6.5 een miljard euro ($8.2 miljard) to suppliers this year. Near-bankrupt Greece has held off on paying suppliers to avoid running out of money.

The comments came after the head of a special EU taskforce in Greece told the same conference that the government must prioritize paying out those arrears to get funds flowing again to cash-strapped businesses.

It would be very difficult to really improve the situation of the Greek economy even with these reforms if the very difficult situation of access to finance is not tackled,” Horst Reichenbach said. “The first step is to pay the arrears that have accumulated.

Arrears to suppliers in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to construction rose to 6.8 billion euros in the five months to May, according to data released by the finance ministry late on Tuesday.

Standing in for Samaras, who is recovering from eye surgery on June 23, Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told the conference Greece would earn the support of euro zone partners fast losing patience with a litany of broken promises and missed targets.

With the new tax system and by tackling tax evasion, by simplifying the business environment and speeding up privatization, Greece will show that it is taking steps,” said Hatzidakis. “It will come as a pleasant surprise”. ($1 = 0.7947 euro)

(Extra rapportering door Renee Maltezou, Harry Papachristou and Karolina Tagaris; bewerken door Ron Askew)