BUSINESS

Stournaras says recovery to come late 2013 if political system holds

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras says the possibility of a Greek default has not disappeared despite the release of more bailout funding by the EU and IMF and that the coalition government will have to resist social tension next year for the adjustment program to remain on track.

“We can make it next year if we can stick to the program agreed with the EU and IMF,” Stournaras said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Thuesday. “The break would be if the political system finds the situation too difficult to handle.”

Stournaras stressed that the government now has to focus on implementing the structural reforms it has agreed with its lenders.

He said the main goals next year are to crack down on tax evasion, meet privatization targets and improve conditions for investors.

The finance minister sees the recession easing towards the end of next year and growth returning in 2014.

“There will be a light showing by the end of next year,” he told the FT.

“It is going to be a very difficult year . . . but if we continue on this track, reduce the budget deficit and also complete measures to improve competitiveness, 2014 and 2015 will be much easier.”

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