mplementing structural reforms -- reducing the public sector and spending, privatisations, opening up closed markets, boosting competitiveness -- is imperative for overturning the current and high degree of disbelief vis-à-vis Greece, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters after an informal Eurogroup meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, the Greek minister said he briefed the Council over decisions taken by the Greek government to achieve fiscal targets for 2011 and 2012, and towards reaching primary budget surplus the soonest possible.
Venizelos said the Eurogroup meeting agreed that all decisions taken during an EU Summit in July 21 must be fully implemented and stressed that “an international environment was fuelling uncertainty, which affects the implementation of Eurozone decisions and our policies’ performance, ones aimed at dealing with the debt crisis. This vicious cycle must end”.
He added that speculation, leaks and comments undermining the July 21 decisions and Greece’s course towards implementing these decisions are “harmful”, not only for country but the Eurozone in general, a view adopted by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Venizelos stressed that “all Greeks must understand that if all this will not be implement now, the consequences will be dramatic for the country and for the Eurozone”.
He noted that national governments were moving ahead with efforts to ratify an extended role for EFSF and agreeing on a PSI programme envisaging a Greek state bond swap program and underlined that the Greek banking system was “fully secured”.