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Papandreou: Greece Will Deliver On All Its Pledges

Prime Minister George Papandreou said he can “guarantee” that Greece will deliver on all the austerity pledges made for its first EUR110 billion rescue program, and reaffirmed that the country will reach a primary budget surplus next year.
Papandreou says Greece is making a “superhuman effort” to reduce its debt mountain and has called for an end to “punishment and scorn” from critics.
Speaking at a conference organised by German employer federation BDI in Berlin on Tuesday, Papandreou said the criticism levelled at Athens was “deeply frustrating”.
His comments come ahead of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday. A primary budget surplus excludes interest rate payments.
Europe should stop quarreling and concentrate on its proposals and reform projects such as the introduction of a financial transaction tax, or a tax on carbon dioxide, Papandreou said.
“We must forge ahead immediately, not muddle through, with institutional reforms necessary to resist intensifying pressure from financial markets,” Papandreou said.
The euro zone must now go ahead with planned steps for its fiscal integration to stabilize the monetary union, he said.
“We need to expand the EFSF [the euro zone΄s rescue fund], and form a permanent mechanism for economic stability and solidarity,” Papandreou said.
Papandreou said his country is doing all it can to regain market confidence and end the economic and political mismanagement of past years that caused its current sovereign debt crisis.
“We will go back to growth and prosperity after this period pain,” he said. “What we΄re doing is nothing short of the rebirth of a nation.”
(source: Dow Jones, AFP)

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