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Greece clashes with EU over austerity measures

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by Kay Mitchell
Greece clashes with EU over austerity measures

Greece clashed with the European Commission in Brussels today over its tough austerity measures, which will see the debt-stricken economy tackle its spiralling debts.

Prior to a meeting with euro zone finance ministers in Brussels today, Greece’s Finance Minister, George Papaconstantinou, said the EU needed to show more support to Greece instead of questioning its measures.

Mr Papaconstantinou said: “We’re trying to change the course of the Titanic, it cannot be done in a day. If additional fiscal measures are needed, we will take them. Today it is Greece, tomorrow it can be another country. Any European country can be prey to speculative forces.”

He said Greece is taking sufficient action to reduce its public deficit from 12% to 8% of GDP this year.

Greece is seeking a bailout from fellow euro zone nations as try to reduce its public deficit, which is currently more than four times the EU limit of 3%. The EU is due to assess the implementation of Greece’s austerity measures in March.

Greece currently has the highest debt of the 16-member euro zone and its economy is considered to be the euro zone’s weakest.

Its debt crisis has weakened the value of the euro, it has lost around one tenth of its value against the dollar since late 2009.

Last week, Greece confirmed it was still in recession in the final quarter of 2009.

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News posted: February 15, 2010

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