15 March, 2006
The opinion issued by the Ecofin Council confirms the credibility of Greece's economic program whose results are already becoming apparent, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said on Tuesday.
The feedback received from the European Union Finance Ministers, who convened earlier on Tuesday in Brussels, on the country's stability and growth program for the 2005-2008 period, shows that the reforms the government has been implementing will be sufficient without additional measures being necessary, Karamanlis said.
He said that the government's fiscal adjustments are being vindicated and that the government followed a strategy that is bearing fruit.
"These results are not just numbers to appear on the next budget, it is the justification of the efforts of all those who believed that public finances could be 'cleaned up' because it is the only way that the Greek economy can grow competitively and we will create the steady foundations needed for an environment that is socially just and prosperous for all," he said.
"Citizens for the first time can, after many years, be optimistic that serious efforts ensure a secure and better tomorrow for everyone," he added.
He noted that the government came into office inheriting a deficit in 2004 of 6.6% of GDP - or €11 billion - twice as much the maximum Eurozone limit and five times as high as the amount the previous government had forecast in the 2004 budget.
Karamanlis stressed that the government reduced the deficit to 4.3% in 2005, while the forecast for the end of 2006 is for the deficit to fall below 3%.
Source: Athens News Agency