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IMF Envoy Says Greece Can Avoid Cuts

The IMF's man in Athens, Poul Thomsen
The IMF’s man in Athens, Poul Thomsen

While declaring that Greece still needs to complete extensive reforms, the government can avoid making more “horizontal cuts” in spending that has roiled social unrest, Poul Thomsen, the envoy for the International Monetary Fund (IMF,) one of its chief lenders said.
“Further measures will be needed for 2014-2016 but they will be on a much smaller scale than in the past,” Thomsen was quoted by the semi-state Athens New Agency as saying, in an interview with newspaper Kathimerini.
“We agree with the government there should be no across-the-board measures and that they should focus on areas of waste,”  Thomsen said.
Thomsen also called for easing restrictions on collective dismissals in the private sector, noting that the changes would help curb unemployment by encouraging companies to open without fears that they cannot dismiss their staff if things do not work out.
A stalled overhaul of the civil service must continue, Thomsen said, noting that it is still “taboo to talk about laying off non-performing workers.” The government is planning the transfer, firing or dismissal of as many as 40,000 workers over the next two years on orders of the Troika of the European Union-IMF-European Central Bank.

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