No EU sanctions on budgets, minister says

Greece will not be punished by the EU for its inaccurate budgets and revised deficit figures, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis told Sunday Kathimerini. «There is no question of Greece facing sanctions. There would have been a problem if we had not restored transparency, because Eurostat had been chasing the Greek government for the last two or three years and it was only a matter of time before they discovered the deficits that we found with the audit,» said Alogoskoufis referring to the Karamanlis administration’s self-imposed review of public finances that led deficit revisions. However, Greece is due to receive a formal warning from the European Commission this week over its faulty 1997 to 2003 budgets and Alogoskoufis recognized that the country’s finances would be under the constant watch of the EU for the immediate future. «We will be held accountable, there is no doubt,» said the minister, who believes other member states trust Greece more now. «There was a major recognition in Brussels of the government’s effort to restore transparency,» he said.