FinMin says patience, persistence needed

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has told Kathimerini that patience and persistence are necessary for Greece to make up the ground it has lost and ensure that officials of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — known as the troika — issue a positive report, paving the way for the next tranche of crucial rescue funding.

“The road will be a long one and demands patience and persistence in order for the lost ground to be regained,» Stournaras told Sunday’s Kathimerini.

“Achieving the targets of this year’s budget and the credible fiscal policy measures for the coming years, along with privatizations, the opening of closed professions, the improved absorption of European structural funding, the use of funds from the European Investment Bank and the acceleration of issuing licenses for would-be investors can lead to fiscal adjustment and growth, putting the Greek economy on the road to recovery,» Stournaras said.

His comments came as a ministry source suggested that envoys from the EC, ECB and IMF will stay in Athens until a new package of savings — to the tune of 11.5 billion euros for 2013 and 2014 — has been finalized. The source added that the envoys’ stance had changed as was «no longer hostile» and suggested that the development could mean the swifter disbursement of the next crucial tranche of rescue funding for Greece. According to the source, the International Monetary Fund’s envoy to Athens, Poul Thomsen, told Stournaras «we want to help and we will stay as long as it takes to prepare the package.» Troika chiefs, who had been due to leave Athens at the end of July before returning at the end of August to complete their review, did not not confirm or deny the ministry official’s claim.

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