Rehn warn­ing over in­stall­ment

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Euro­pean Eco­nom­i­cand Mon­e­tary Af­fairs Com­mis­sioner Olli Rehn has warned that the EU will also pull out of giv­ing Athens its June loan in­stall­ment if the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund with­holds funds, al­though the Wash­ing­ton-based or­ga­ni­za­tion de­nied re­ports yes­ter­day that Greece has missed the tar­gets it was set.

“We Euro­peans are set­ting the same con­di­tions as the IMF,” Rehn said in an in­ter­view with Ger­man weekly Der Spiegel. “The sit­u­a­tion is very se­ri­ous.”

Rehn said that the EU would de­cided whether to re­lease the loan tranche, worth 12 bil­lion eu­ros in to­tal, fol­low­ing the lat­est au­dit of Greek pub­lic fi­nances by ex­perts from the IMF, the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank and the EU.

Der Spiegel claimed that the quar­terly re­port by the troika would blame high gov­ern­ment spend­ing and in­ad­e­quate tax col­lec­tion for a bal­loon­ing Greek bud­get deficit. But the IMF de­nied this. “Re­cent me­dia re­ports claim­ing knowl­edge of the find­ings of the re­view mis­sion are un­true,” an IMF spokes­woman said in an e-mailed state­ment to Reuters news agency. “Our dis­cus­sions with the authorities con­tinue, are mak­ing good progress and are ex­pected to con­clude soon,” she said.

In a spe­cial Kathimerini sup­ple­ment mark­ing Greece’s 30 years as a mem­ber of the EU, Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jose Manuel Bar­roso said Brus­sels would con­tinue to stand by Greece. “Some im­pres­sive re­sults have al­ready been achieved,” he said of the gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts, “but it will take a lit­tle longer un­til the ben­e­fits can be felt.”

The sup­ple­ment also car­ried an ar­ti­cle by Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou, who ad­mit­ted that Greece’s mem­ber­ship of the EU had not led to the “nec­es­sary changes” in sev­eral sec­tors, in­clud­ing the civil ser­vice, lo­cal gov­ern­ment, jus­tice, so­cial wel­fare and ed­u­ca­tion.

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