Greece: Deficit revision won't cause new wage cuts

October 20, 2010 20:17


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ATHENS, Greece — Greece's prime minister said Wednesday his government will not impose further wage or pension cuts, or increae taxes, as a result of an expected upward revision to the budget deficit.

George Papandreou said the Greek people had already made "unprecedented sacrifices."

Greece is battling to slash overspending and improve public finances after being rescued from the brink of bankruptcy this year by loans from European countries and the International Monetary Fund worth €110 billion ($152 billion) over three years.

The European Union's statistics agency, Eurostat, is to revise Greece's deficit and debt figures for 2006-2009 — making Athens' ambitious deficit-reduction targets harder to reach.

The deficit for 2009 is expected to rise to about 15 percent of gross domestic product or higher from the current projection of 13.6 percent, according to estimates by Greek authorities.

EU officials said this week that Eurostat had planned to announce the revision Friday but could delay the announcement until mid-November.

On Monday, EU finance commissioner Olli Rehn said Greece "may require some additional measures of fiscal consolidation in order to stick to (its) fiscal targets."

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