ECONOMY

IMF’s mixed view on Greece

The latest International Monetary Fund report in Greece has acknowledged «considerable progress» by the government in its effort to introduce streamlining reforms but suggests that there are still some serious challenges for it to overcome. «Data from the first five months of the year shows that the deficit has been drastically reduced, much more than originally planned,» suggests the report based on the visit of IMF experts last month in Athens. «The Greek authorities have made progress by setting public finances on a sustainable course,» it adds, referring to significant reforms implemented that «other governments in previous years did not even dare apply.» On the other hand, the report also notes the serious obstacles in the government’s way to saving the economy: «Hospitals and social security funds present clear risks, as do financial pressures in public enterprises,» it states. The report also makes a point of noting the government’s worries about the social unrest generated by its austerity measures and calls on Athens to send a clear message that it does not intend to compromise on closed-shop professions or public companies with accumulated debts. The experts from the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank are planning to visit Athens again on July 26 for about 10 days as they continue to monitor Greece’s progress.