Initiatives seen bearing fruit; mood upbeat

Prime Minister George Papandreou (left) met yesterday with Bank of Greece Governor Giorgos Provopoulos (right). Provopoulos said steps taken by Greece to cure its economic ills and exit a debt crisis will lead it back to fiscal health. ‘The initiatives that have been taken will begin to bear fruit,’ Provopoulos said. ‘They are forming the conditions of a virtuous circle. We can be optimistic.’ Papandreou told Provopoulos that the government had achieved the ‘initial major goals that had been set.’ Meanwhile, Finance Ministry data released yesterday showed that Greece’s central government debt increased 6.6 billion euros in the second quarter over the preceding quarter. The increase, to 316.9 billion euros, indicates that debt is ‘evolving within the set framework’ of economic policy, which is to contain the public debt growth rate and bring it back to a sustainable path, it said.