08 December, 2009
The President of the Eurogroup and Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean Claude Juncker warned that if the Athens government's measures on the economy do not succeed, then Greece will enter into a stricter stage of the excessive deficit procedure, but stressed that the Greek economy was not on the verge of bankruptcy, an interview with the Sunday edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper.
Juncker explained that entry into a stricter stage of excessive deficit procedure entails immediate penalties such as the freezing of subsidies and the prohibition of borrowing from the European Investment Bank.
He admitted that the condition of the economy in Greece is 'tragic' and estimated that the basic problem of the Greek economy's lack of competitiveness, however, speculations that Greece is on the verge of bankruptcy makes him angry.
"Such a situation does not exist, and everyone must be aware of this. Yes, the need of severe measures is mandatory, but in no instance is it (the Greek economy) in a state of bankruptcy", stressed Juncker.
The Eurogroup President, answering a question whether a 3-4 year grace period may be given to Greece in order to reduce the deficit, noted: "It is too early to talk about extra time. Initially, the government must present the new stability programme in January, and in February we will make known our recommendations".
Source: Athens News Agency