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Greece still needs EU help to stay afloat, Commission says

Greece's debt dynamics have slightly worsened and the bailed-out country still relies on its international creditors to remain fully funded, the European Commission said in a report on Friday.

The European Union's executive expects Greek debt to stand at about 125 percent of gross domestic product in 2020 and at about 112 percent of GDP in 2022, the Commission said.

In its previous analysis of Greek debt sustainability, Greece's lenders saw debt at 124 percent of GDP in 2020 and "substantially below" 110 percent in 2022.

"This deterioration is due to several factors: a lower forecast for nominal GDP, mainly reflecting a deeper adjustment in prices, a somewhat lower forecast for privatisation revenue following delays in privatising government assets and higher arrears clearance compared to the previous revue," the report said.

Greece's projected privatisation revenues through to end-2020 have been lowered by 1.9 billion euros to 22.3 billion euros, according to the report.

Despite the fact that Greece returned to bond markets earlier this month, it still relies on a pledge by euro zone countries to provide it with further help, to be considered fully funded, the Commission said.

The country faces a funding gap of 5.5 billion euros ($7.60 billion) through to end-May 2015, according to the report. Also, the Commission's debt forecasts for 2020 and 2022 are based on the assumption of further debt relief for Athens.

Greece earlier this week qualified for further debt relief from its euro zone partners after European officials confirmed it achieved its first primary budget surplus since 2002, before interest and other one-off items.

Greece's government says it needs no third bailout, after the two ones it has received since 2010. The EU and the IMF have paid Athens more than 215 billion euros since the start of the bailout.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Friday April 25, 2014 (13:40)  
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