EU: Greece Requires More Austerity to Cut Deficit

Brussels, May 13 (Prensa Latina) Amid popular discontent, the European Commission on Friday demanded that Greece implement further austerity measures given the negative outlook on reducing its deficit and public debt.

Further fiscal consolidation measures are definitely needed, said EC commissioner for economic affairs Olli Rehn.

According to EC estimates published Friday, the Greek budget deficit will be at 9.5 percent at the end of this year, two points higher than projected by the government.

Meanwhile, the debt continued growing, climbing to 157.7 percent of the GDP in 2011 and 166.1 percent in 2012, according to the EU commissioner.

A committee of experts from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund is meeting in Brussels to assess the final requirements of further austerity measures, Rehn said.

He acknowledged the efforts made by Athens so far and said Greece has yet to implement the adjustments and reforms announced.

Euro zone finance ministers will meet on Monday to evaluate the possibility of providing additional aid to Greece, on top of the 110 billion-euro bailout granted by the EU and the IMF in 2010, he said.

However, Rehn said, that decision should be expected to know the results of the mission of both entities in the Greek capital.

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