Minister must convince peers in Brussels

Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou is facing one of the toughest challenges ever for a Greek minister in Brussels as he has to convince his European Union colleagues today and his eurozone peers tomorrow of the necessity to grant Greece a four-year extension to the deadline for trimming its budget deficit. He will also have to persuade them that the questionable figures recently submitted by the National Statistical Service were the last ones that will cause controversy as from now on the NSS will become an independent body. He will also argue that the measures being planned by the new government are of a structural nature and will curtail the deficit in the next three to four years.