BUSINESS

Greece denies report it missed fiscal targets

Greek Finance Minister George Papacon­stan­tinou on Saturday denied a German magazine report that an international inspection team had concluded Greece had missed all its fiscal targets. “Reports such as the one in Der Spiegel have no relation to reality. Negotiations continue and will be completed in the next few days. We have every reason to believe the report will be positive for the country,” he told Greek Mega TV, as Wall Street Journal informs.

“Recent media reports claiming knowledge of the findings of the review mission are untrue,” an IMF spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement. “Our discussions with the authorities continue, are making good progress and are expected to conclude soon,” she said. According to the German news magazine Der Spiegel Greece has missed every one of the financial targets it agreed with international institutions, a panel of inspectors have concluded. It said the quarterly report by the European Central Bank (ECB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Com­mis­sion would blame disproportionately high govern­ment spending and inadequate tax collec­tion for a ballooning Greek budget deficit. Greece would be able to almost cover its debt burden by stepping up the sale of state assets valued at EUR 300 bln, according to the chief economist of the ECB, Juergen Stark, quoted by BBC. He urged the IMF struggles to get the country to submit to tough conditions necessary for the next EUR 12bln tranche of its EUR 110 bln bail-out.

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