Eurotalks to Focus on Greek Economy

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
May 17, 2011 /

The next European Union (EU) meetings are expected to focus more on the condition of Greece, which was rumored last week to quit the EU, as it continues to struggle in its current debt condition.

The Eurozone ministers, who will be continuing their talks in Brussels, Germany, are anticipated to discuss urging Greece to change its course and giving it a second bail out.

In a letter to the ministers, John Monks, the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (Etuc), said that the they are calling on Greece to immediately change its direction.

Etuc is telling Greece to do so because brutal austerity, both in terms of public finance and in term of wages, is not working and is instead undermining the country’s economy.

It is also discussing the possibility of a second Greek bail-out or of lengthening the amount of time Greece has to pay back its huge mountain of debt.

However, on Monday, May 16, 2011, the finance ministers were convinced to abandon brutal austerity as the answer to the Greek and Irish debt crises and were instead urged to give the struggling nations a chance to restore their nosediving economies.

As a result of the change of plans, the ministers in Brussels told Athens to do much more to restructure its economy and that to push ahead with a massive privatization programme.

Eurozone group leader Jean-Claude Juncker said that Greece must still step up the implementation of its fiscal and structural reforms and also start the privatization programme which is worth about €50 billion ($71 billion) without any further delay. This will be a very important part of reducing the debt burden of Greece as the €50 billion ($71 billion) makes up 20 percent of the its GDP.

 

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