Thomsen: No reforms, no rebound

The second bailout package is the last chance for Greece, which must proceed to more reforms if it wants to rebound within the eurozone, said the head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission to Greece, Poul Thomsen in an interview to Skai television on Saturday.

Speaking in Washington, Thomsen warned of more cuts to the public sector, saying that “in order for the fiscal deficit to go down, the public sector has to shrink. It is time for taboos to go away,” he said referring to closure of state corporations and the sacking of civil servants.

He went on to admit his mistake in not being harsh enough over the first couple of years of his mission to Athens: “It was an error of mine that I did not put more pressure on more drastic cuts in expenditure,” said Thomsen.

The first two years were “the phase of fiscal adjustment,” and from now on there can be no results in fiscal streamlining justby introducing “any more horizontal cuts in salaries and pensions, and new tax increases.”

“The special assistance by the IMF to Greece has its limits,” he added, distancing the fund from a third support package should Greece require it. “If that happens, then there will be a problem,” warned Thomsen. 

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