FinMin: "No prospect of Greek default"

Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos ruled out any prospect of a Greek default, and urged public administration functionaries and the public to make every effort to ensure that this year's fiscal targets are met, addressing a noon-day press conference on Tuesday, adding that the measures announced by the Greek government were deemed "impressive" and no issue was put forward for yet more measures during Monday's eurogroup meeting in Brussels.

    "I urge the (Greek) society and public administration" to do their best, Venizelos said, in an indirect but clear reference to the regular and extraordinary tax obligations of the citizens and the efficiency of the civil servants.

    "The issue is not the 6th tranche (of the EU-IMF bailout loan to Greece), but the implementation of much more important decisions by 2014,» Venizelos said at the beginning of the press conference. "The issue at hand is to convince the markets that we have a viable solution," he added.

    The government vice president and finance minister also assured that there is no problem with the country's cash reserves up until mid-November, echoing earlier reassurances by Greek General State Accounts Office sources that the country's cash reserves were adequate to cover the country's fiscal needs up until mid-November, at which time a decision is expected for the disbursement of the 8 million euros sixth tranche of the 110 billion euro EU-IMF bailout loan to Greece.

    It is noted that a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on Monday announced that the decision for the disbursement of the 6th tranche will be taken in November, given that a European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika progress report on the Greek economy will be submitted at that time.

    Venizelos noted that the Eurogroup met on Monday to discuss the Greek situation "in a friendly way, and not against Greece".

    "In less than two years, Greece has presented an impressive fiscal adjustment. They all respect the effort being made by the Greek people," he said, adding that the measures announced by the Greek government were deemed impressive and "there was acceptance of the measures by everyone".

    "No one put forward an issue of new measures. The measures that have been announced must be ratified and consistently applied," Venizelos continued.

    "The issue at hand is to implement the measures that have been announced, and they must be implemented," he said, and severely criticised the opposition parties, noting that "many know that there is no other solution, but they are demagogically toying with other solutions"..

    Venizelos further assured that bank deposits in Greece are secure. One of the basic messages of Monday's eurogroup meeting is that "no other depositor is as secure as the European depositor, and particularly the Greek depositor", he added.

    The finance minister also assured that there is no issue of a prospective default. "No prospect of default," he stressed.

    Continuing, Venizelos urged implementation of a second support package for Greece, as decided at a July 21 eurozone summit, as a necessary condition for halting the recession in Greece.

    "We need measures to halt recession," he said, warning that the deepening recession in Greece cannot be halted without the implementation of the new support programme and improvement of liquidity to households and businesses.

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