NEWS

FinMin welcomes OECD assessment of Greece prospects

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has welcomed the findings of an OECD evaluation of Greece’s financial prospects that was unveiled on Tuesday.

Venizelos said the report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which was presented by Angel Gurria, the organization’s secretary-general, in Athens on Tuesday, sent a ?simple and clear? signal to the markets that Greece is capable of fulfilling its financial obligations.

?But it is not just the public debt that must become sustainable, but also our state and society,? Venizelos said.

The report by the Paris-based economics thinktank said Greece can avoid default provided it pushes with its ambitious package of austerity measures.

?The key to success will be in the implementation, which will have to be impeccable,? the OECD said, predicting that the economy will limp to growth of 0.6 percent in 2012.

Regional Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said the good news defeated the predictions of ?the Cassandras who have over the past 20 months betted on the bankruptcy of the country.?

?At last, the Greek economy is generating some good news; and that is the main thing to keep from the OECD report,? Chrysochoidis added.

The OECD urged the Socialist government to improve tax collection and move on with privatizations in order to lighten the debt burden.

“Boosting privatization and improving the management of public assets is an important way of reducing debt and debt-servicing costs. It can also potentially stimulate growth through greater efficiency and by attracting foreign investment,» the OECD said.

A painful mix of tax hikes, spending cuts and wage reductions have sparked a series of violent protests in Greece against George Papandreou’s administration and the country’s foreign lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.