24 January, 2007
The European Union's executive Commission is to rule in the spring on whether Greece will be released from the bloc's excessive deficit process.
"On the basis of Greece's stability program, the fiscal deficit will be 2.6% in 2006 and 2.4% in 2007. If this data is verified in the Commission's spring forecasts in May, then the Community's executive organ would be able to recommend an end to the supervision process for Greece," the EU's monetary affairs Commission, Joaquin Almunia, told reporters.
"Before there are definite results on the size of the Greek deficit for 2007, the revision of 2006 GDP should also be taken into account, which Greek authorities communicated to the EU in the final months of 2006. This process is underway and may have repercussions on Greece's participations in the Community budget," Almunia told reporters in reply to questions.
Later in the day, Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis told reporters on the sidelines of a conference that Greece was expected to be released from the excessive deficit process by October at the latest.
Source: Athens News Agency