Financial News: Finmin announces end of 'troika' press conferences, announces target of 1 bln from privatisations in 2011

Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou announced the end of press conferences by the European Union and International Monetary Fund experts sent to check on Greece's implementation of the terms of the memorandum, during an interview appearing in the Sunday issue of the Athens newspaper "Ethnos".

According to the minister, that particular "model of communication" had proved problematic after the intense row sparked by the statements of 'troika' experts during their latest press conference, which drew an angry response from the government.

Papaconstantinou again emphasised that the revised privatisation programme target of 50 billion euros was decided by the government and would take place over a space of five years, extending beyond the term of the Memorandum for the financial support to Greece and was not, therefore, a 'memorandum target'.

He also clarified that apart from the sale of real estate, there was also the possibility of a long-term lease of real estate that many investors preferred.

The finance minister noted that the government's target for 2011 was to raise more than one billion euro from privatisations in 2011 and to fight tax evasion.

He also noted that the government was starting to see results from its work against tax evasion while admitting that much still remained to be done in this area.

Concerning the debate currently underway in Europe for the economy, the finance minister said that Greece was seeking to buy back its debt while also striving for decisions linked to better terms for borrowing and managing public debt.

He once again ruled out all possibility of a restructuring of Greece's debt.

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