EC chief writes to Greek PM over key reform areas

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Wednesday sent a letter to the Greek prime minister requesting that Lucas Papademos identify areas in which the government could use more technical assistance from the European Task Force for Greece, Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen said.

The letter comes after a meeting between the Greek interim prime minister and the EC chief in Brussels last week, where they discussed closer cooperation in the implementation of reforms that are key to Greece meeting the criteria for an additional 130-billion-euro bailout package.

According to the spokeswoman, Papademos has until March 28 to identify the areas in which the Greek state needs the most help, adding that Barroso stressed that priority must be given to improving cooperation with the European Investment Bank for the absorption of 650 million euros worth of funds for boosting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

Barroso also noted that much more work needs to be done to improve Greece’s notoriously poor record in absorbing European funding that can help boost growth in the debt-wracked country, as well as that steps need to be taken to restart large-scale infrastructure projects.

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