The Bank of Greece (BoG) ascertained "substantial steps of progress" in tackling the country's immense debt and weak competitiveness, in its annual Monetary Policy Report for 2010-2011 which was submitted by the central bank chief George Provopoulos to the parliament president on Tuesday.

However, despite the progress observed, "there are still many things that need to be done", Provopoulos said, adding his belief that "we need to speed up the structural changes, to act faster and more decisively".

"In the current conditions that is the only safe way to bring economic growth to the country more quickly," the BoG governor said while submitted the report.

Parliament president Filippos Petsalnikos warned that "we must not become complacent", stressing that the rate and momentum of the changes must not slow down, "particularly the structural measures, which are necessary for our country to stand on its own feet once again".

Petsalnikos said parliament will study the report with due attention, and anticipated that the government and the entire political community, and above all the Greek people, will act towards the same goal, that Greece will never again find itself in a similar situation as recently.


ND on BoG report; private sector wages


The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party sharply attacked the government on Tuesday, criticising it for the economic policy it follows.

Referring to the annual Monetary Policy Report for 2010-2011, issued by the Bank of Greece (BoG), ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis underlined that “the fact that the economy has entered a vicious circle of recession is being confirmed”.

“The BoG says what ND leader Antonis Samaras has been saying for months,” Mihelakis stressed, adding that “the only way is development and changing the economic policy mix…The dead ends of the memorandum and the policy followed by the Papandreou government have paralyzed the economy. The sacrifices of the people go to waste and the future is ominous”.

He also accused the government of lacking a plan, vision, hope and development prospect, stressing that it “sank Greece into recession, unemployment and austerity in no time”.

As regards the exploitation of state real estate, Mihelakis called on the government to respond immediately if it intends to bring the issue up for discussion in a Cabinet meeting.

He also referred to the future of the private sector 13th and 14th salaries (half-salary Easter and summer vacation bonuses and a full-salary Christmas bonus), stressing that the explanations given by the competent government ministers leave room for any eventuality.