A European Commission Task Force for Greece on Thursday presented its first report on the Greek economy. The report highlighted the huge challenges facing the Greek public administration which must be resolved within adverse conditions of a debt crisis and a deep economic recession.
Presenting the report in Brussels, Horst Reichenbach, head of the Task Force, said a technical assistance to be offered to Greek authorities has two significant targets: returning to economic growth and contributing to the sustainability of Greek public debt. Reichenbach said the Greek state machine would need technical assistance offered by EU experts for a period of two to three years until the Greek public sector reached a satisfactory operating level.
The report stressed that the Task Force could help Greek authorities to respond to three pressing challenges: supporting growth, employment and competition, promoting growth through a reform of the public administration and sustaining progress towards fiscal consolidation. The report stressed that the main sectors needed technical assistance were tax administration, controlling public spending, reforming public administration, judicial reform, public procurement contracts, competition and privatizations. Reichenbach underlined two large investment projects, which have been frozen because of problems related with funding or an economic recession in the country. One is a photovoltaic project with a budget of 20 billion euros and the other is five possible road work contract, worth 8.7 billion euros which could created 10,000 job positions and add around 1.5-2.0 pct to Greek Domestic Product.
On the occasion of the presentation of the first report, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said: "Fiscal consolidation should go hand in hand with the structural reforms needed to transform Greece's growth potential and generate the jobs its people so urgently need. We reiterate that our European Institutions will continue to do everything within their power to help Greece. The Task Force set up by the Commission has quickly established good cooperation with the Greek authorities to identify their priority needs. It has mobilised offers of technical assistance from many sides, thus demonstrating the unique European endeavour to support Greece in addressing its challenges." AMNA