21 September, 2005
The Greek government will not take any new initiatives to resolve the pension system during its current four-year term, but a dialogue on the issue will begin, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis clarified on Tuesday.
Presenting the report of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation on the Greek economy, Alogoskoufis noted that the IMF recommended that the government take immediate measures to resolve the pension problem and speed up reforms in the country. The Greek minister said the ministry did not favor "hard adjustment" polices and that a mild adjustment policy adopted by the government was a conscious choice.
The IMF cites problems in the Greek pension system after the year 2010 due to an ageing population, while reiterating that the government did not seek to make any new changes in the system during its four-year term.
The IMF report said the Greek labor market is currently in a phase of significant reforms, although the pace remained low, thus urging more deregulation in labor markets. Alogoskoufis said the government would not seek any changes in the labor market. The International Monetary Fund welcomed the government's target to reduce its fiscal deficit below 3.0 percent by 2006 and urged changes in the operation of the public sector, with "deep reforms in the management of spending and tax administration".
On his part, Alogoskoufis again underlined that the government aimed to promote growth, employment and social cohesion in the country.
Commenting on draft legislation to be debated in a parliamentary committee over changes in drafting a company's "information bulletin" listing in the stock market through a public offering, the Greek minister said the new law's innovation was the fact that the bulletin would be recognized by other EU member-states as well and no additional approval would be needed for listing in any other EU stock market.
Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis leaves for Washington on Wednesday to represent Greece at an annual general meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
On Thursday, the minister will meet Congressmen and Senators and address a round-table discussion on opportunities in the eurozone and growth in southeastern Europe organized by the European Institute.
On Friday, Alogoskoufis is to visit the American Hellenic Institute; give an interview to CNN television; meet the general director of the World Bank, S Zhang; and hold talks with IMF officials.
On Saturday, the minister will address the IMF and World Bank meeting; and on Sunday meet IMF director for European affairs, M Doppler.
Finally, he will present the Greek economy to institutional investors in New York next week, and speak on Bloomberg television.
Source: Athens News Agency