Efforts to boost national economy

The government will attempt to address international worries about the country’s economy with a presentation of the context of the Greek Stability and Growth Program 2010 by Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday at the start of the National Social Dialogue. Papandreou is expected to announce specific new measures that can reverse the negative fiscal climate for Greece on the markets. Some of the decisions for those measures have not yet been made, and will reportedly be confirmed after Papandreou’s return from the European Council meeting in Brussels, which concludes today. Within the context of the effort to restore Greece’s tarnished image, Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou will start a tour of Western Europe next week, visiting France, Germany and Britain to meet with his counterparts and with institutional investors. Yesterday Papaconstantinou dispelled fears about Greece resorting to aid from the International Monetary Fund, saying that the government will do all that is required to avoid that. Papaconstantinou received the support of his eurozone colleagues yesterday, with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schauble saying, «We support the fiscal streamlining of Greece, but it will have to walk this way by itself,» and Jean-Claude Juncker, the chairman of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, stressing Greece will not go bankrupt, so there would be no need for help from European Union states. The new measures that the government is considering concern a reduction in public spending and bolstering revenues through changes to the tax system. Other measures will include a shift in the social security system, the opening up of the so-called closed-shop professions, pushing through certain privatizations and the use of public property that will have a direct impact in reducing public debt.

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