Greece has to make a strong surge forward in the next two months, which will be critical for the country's future, Government vice-president and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Saturday. He was speaking at the general assembly of the Central Union of Greek Chambers of Commerce.
"Every hour of those two months has to count as a year from the point of view of effort. In the period until the end of October we must prove that we can keep to our commitments by promoting structural changes, executing the budget and planning a reliable budget for 2012, as well as going ahead with privatisations," he underlined.
In addition, the issue of loan collaterals and the PSI would also have to be settled by the end of October, Venizelos added.
The minister stressed that there was no room for either inertia or back-tracking at this time and that Greece could only move foward.
"If by October the government commitments related to the agreement of July 21 for the Greek economy have been fulfilled, the atmosphere will change," he said, stressing that Greece had to stop generating primary deficits as quickly as possible.
Stopping the recession demanded full implementation of the decisions of July 21 and drawing the necessary funds from the public and private sector worldwide as soon as possible, Venizelos said.
Concerning the list of companies owing large amounts to the public sector, the minister stressed that if only 10 percent of the 32 billion euro owed was collected, Greece will have solved the problems concerning the execution of the 2011 budget and possibly that of 2012 as well.
"We are absolutely determined, without taking the passing political cost into account, to fully respond to our [EU] partners," he said, adding that it would be a "tragic mistake" to consider that the country's structural needs are imposed from outside".