Amadeu Altafaj, a spokesman for European Commissioner Olli Rehn, on Monday said Greece must present details of a 50-billion-euro privatisation plan within days. In a statement to the ANA-MPA, he also refuted a news agency's report claiming that Rehn, while speaking at a Vienna conference, had expressed doubts about Greece's ability to reach its privatisation target.
According to Altafaj, the report was a "mistake of the news agency" and the Commissioner's view was precisely the opposite, namely that it was feasible for Greece to raise 50 billion euro through privatisations.
Altafaj stressed, however, that Greek authorities must specify, within the next few days, a package of measures for 2011 and the coming years. The EU spokesman underlined the need to overcome political quarrels and to reach a consensus on the main targets of a consolidation program.
He said that Greece must begin, in an effective way, to implement a privatization program worth 50 billion euros -announced three months ago- which could reduce the country’s debt by 20 pct of GDP. He noted that Greek authorities must first make specific the measures, timetables and ways of implementing this privatization program, although he acknowledged it was a difficult task. He noted that the European Commission was ready to support Greek authorities in setting up a new privatization agency.
Commenting on the time needed for a troika delegation to complete its assessment of the Greek program, the EU spokesman said “the mission will last as long as it takes,” adding that the Commission was not yet in a position to have a full assessment of the program. Altafaj reiterated the need for political forces in Greece to reach a consensus on the main targets of the fiscal consolidation program.