Investors to ‘vote’ on 30-bln-euro plan

Greek stocks could be headed for a volatile start to the week with investors expected to «vote» on the Greek government’s three-year plan aimed at slashing 30 billion euros from its budget deficit. Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou yesterday unveiled the plan, which includes tax hikes and spending cuts, aimed at lowering the budget deficit to below 3 percent of gross domestic product by 2014. The austerity measures are needed for Greece to qualify for a 120-billion-euro EU-IMF rescue package that will be used to meet much of the country’s borrowing costs over the next three years. On Thursday, the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index jumped 7.14 percent to 1,829.29 points on bank-led gains. «This is a very strong, very credible and very well- supported package. I think markets will react positively. As they see the government is implementing it with determination, I think you will see a sustained, significant decline of spreads,» Poul Thomsen, IMF mission chief for Greece, said yesterday.

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