Arab Today, arab today greece scraping for 3 bn euros in savings
Last Updated : GMT 12:02:25
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Greece scraping for 3 bn euros in savings

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Greece scraping for 3 bn euros in savings

Brussels - AFP

Greece must quickly come up with savings worth three billion euros ($3.68 billion) to keep its accounts in order and remain under EU/IMF financial protection, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said on Tuesday. Greece\'s European partners have \"called for implementation of measures it (Greece) committed to for 2012,\" Stournaras said in a press briefing handed out on the sidelines of a Brussels meeting with European Union counterparts. Athens is trying to come up with an short-term solution that would allow it to \"cover its needs between now and September\" after international loans that have protected Greece from bankruptcy were frozen in May, he added. \"Our first priority is to ensure short-term financing until a first tranche (of aid) worth 31.5 billion euros is released,\" Stournaras said. An EU official said Friday that Greece will not receive its next tranche of bailout aid on August 20 unless it continues the implementation of economic reforms demanded. \"There will be no disbursement until the Eurogroup (of finance ministers) has determined that the programme is back on track,\" said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But owing to Greece\'s deteriorating economic prospects, even if Athens comes up with the extra savings through budget measures and privatisations, the country \"will not reach its public deficit target\" this year, Stournaras warned. In exchange for the latest Greek bailout by the EU and International Monetary Fund, Greek authorities agreed to bring the country\'s public deficit down to 5.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2012. The theoretical EU limit is 3.0 percent of GDP, and countries are supposed to aim for a balanced budget or even a surplus in times of economic growth. Greece is now in its fifth year of recession.

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