Greek FinMin Proclaims "Worst Is Over" But IMF Warns "Rich Not Paying 'Fair' Share"

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As the IMF delivers its first 'health check' on Greece since 2009, the beleaguered nation's finance minister proudly proclaims, "the worst is over," and the country had reached its economic trough. However, while the finance minister appears unaware of the people living in caves, the record youth unemployment (that is rising still), and the accelerating non-performing loans (no green shoots there), the IMF remains a little less confident, "Greece's debt remains much too high". As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Stournaras added that ''in May 2014, the loan installments will come to an end and the country has to be in a position where it can go on its own to the markets.'' We can't wait (with GGBs under 10% yield to see which greater fool snaps up those beauties). The IMF is a little less sanguine warning Greece of its "insufficient structural reforms," and worries of the "socially painful recession." The last jab, in line with the new normal 'template' (that is not a template but really is), "very little progress has been made in tackling Greece’s notorious tax evasion," as the IMF demands, "the rich and self-employed are simply not paying their fair share."

 

Via SMH,

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Yannis Stournaras said ''the worst is over'' and the country had ''reached the [bottom of the] trough''.

 

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Mr Stournaras said attempts to fix the country's parlous public finances are starting to bear fruit, and could allow it to return to financial markets as early as next year.

 

Athens is on course to deliver a primary budget surplus - which does not take into account debt payments - a year ahead of schedule. He added the country had already pushed through two-thirds of the reform measures needed to address the huge holes in the nation's budget. Interest costs on Greece's massive debt have been sharply reduced by the debt restructuring the government has made.

 

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''Whether Greece is able to take the first step of independence from the troika will depend on all that has to happen by then,'' Mr Stournaras told Greece's To Vima newspaper. ''In May 2014, the loan instalments will come to an end and the country has to be in a position where it can go on its own to the markets.''

 

He told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that there were indications that the worst is over. ''For instance, the central bank of Greece told me industrial production is stabilising. Production isn't falling any more and we appear to have reached the trough.''

 

Well if the Central Bank of Greece told you then it must be true!!

 

Via WSJ,

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Greece's debt remains "much too high" and European commitments to lighten it are welcome...

 

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The IMF's recommendations in its latest review of Greece's bailout program bring to the fore the need for future "official-sector involvement" in Greece's €173.5 billion ($227.5 billion) bailout, meaning that governments could in some way forgive some of the money Greece owes them. This so far has been a no-go topic for many of Greece's euro-zone partner countries, Germany in particular.

 

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The IMF said Greece's banks should be fully recapitalized by mid-2013, cautioning against "undue government interference." It added that the whole banking sector should focus on containing and reversing "the mounting tide" of loans in the red.

 

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While Greece will need to find more savings through to 2016 to reach a targeted primary surplus of 4.5% of gross domestic product, the IMF said there is "no room" to tax Greeks more and there is hardly any space left for more cuts in discretionary government spending.