ECONOMY

IMF says Greek taboos must end

Greece?s creditors are increasing pressure on Athens to ensure that the upcoming pre-election period will not interrupt o slow the application of the program for the streamlining of the economy, while a considerable part of the market is convinced Greece will need a third bailout.

At Friday?s Eurogroup meeting, Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis is certain to be urged by his counterparts to stick to the plan drawn up with his predecessor.

The chief representative of the International Monetary Fund in Greece, Poul Thomsen, told a conference at the London School of Economics on Thursday that Athens?s fiscal adjustment will take at least another 10 years before it becomes competitive again.

He conceded that the government has conducted an ?aggressive? fiscal adjustment but added that it will ?doubtlessly have to reduce its fiscal deficit.? Thomsen also acknowledged there is no scope for any further tax hikes or horizontal cuts to salaries and pensions but noted that the taboos of layoffs and public corporations must be shed.

The European Commission?s head of mission to Athens, Matthias Mors, stated that Greece is yet to overcome its problems and that ?from the second half of 2012 we will be able to see clearly which direction we are heading to.?

Analyst Moritz Kraemer of Standard