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After falling behind, Greece looks ahead

Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 01:55

July 26 - has scraped together a plan to save nearly 12 billion euros over the next two years in an increasingly desperate effort to convince visiting EU and IMF inspectors it deserves to be saved rather than pushed out of the euro zone. Joanne Nicholson reports.

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Greece's Finance Minister meets with international debt inspectors to help determine what comes next. Officials from the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank have been in Athens to monitor progress. The official report from the troika, which will determine whether Greece deserves more payouts, is not due until September. But comments have already been made indicating that Greece's reform program has fallen behind. Evangelos Venizelos is party leader of PASOK (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) PASOK PARTY LEADER EVANGELOS VENIZELOS SAYING: "There will be no horizontal measures, there will be no new measures either for 2012 further to those foreseen in the budget, and that is why we are insisting on the need to agree on the revised fiscal adjustment program." The U.S. bank Citi has said in a report that the chances of Greece leaving the euro has risen to 90 percent. Michael Saunders is an economist at Citigroup. SOUNDBITE (English) MICHAEL SAUNDERS, CHIEF EUROPEAN ECONOMIST, CITIGROUP, SAYING: "With Spain and Italy now also heading into rescue programmes, there's a much greater need to convince creditor nations that countries that go off programme, and Greece is badly off programme, will not be funded."" Two parliamentary elections in May and June paralysed government activity in Greece, and many politicians are lukewarm over the budget cuts and reforms agreed in March Tax reforms have been repeatedly postponed, public sector job cuts are happening at a slower pace than programmed, and the government had missed deadlines to lower the benefits awarded by some deficit-making state-run pension funds But the Greek government says it's found 11.7 billion euros in savings for 2013 and 2014. The hope is that will generate enough goodwill to convince Greece's lenders it deserves to be saved. Joanne Nicholson, Reuters

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After falling behind, Greece looks ahead

Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 01:55