Greece to turn economy around

2010-02-27 09:13 BJT


Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he will do whatever it takes to save the country's economy, no matter how painful. Addressing parliament on the economic situation, he said no other country will pay Greece's debts.

Papandreou's address came a day after a team of EU officials visited the country and expressed skepticism over its economic targets. That could prompt the government to take even tougher measures than those already outlined.

Papandreou said the worst fears regarding Greece's economy had been confirmed. But he vowed to do whatever is needed to turn the economy around.

George Papandreou , Greek Prime Minister, said, "We are asking for solidarity from the European Union, just as they are asking that we meet our obligations to put this country in order. We will respond, whatever the cost and no matter how painful it will be for us, but in the most fair way."

The government's economic program sees deep cuts in welfare spending, wage and recruitment freezes, tax hikes and reforms. The program has angered unions but the general public appears to support the government.

EU inspectors expect the deficit to GDP ratio to be cut by only 1.5 to 2 percentage points versus the government's four percent target this year.

The slippage would mean that Greece needs to find another 4.8 billion euros worth of savings.

Greece shocked markets and EU policymakers when it announced in October that its 2009 budget deficit had spiraled to 12.7 percent of GDP, raising questions about its ability to service its debt.

Editor: Zheng Limin | Source: