Crisis:Greece,not cutting 13th and 14th month possible, IMF

Poul Thomsen told newspaper Kathimerini

01 February, 16:27

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, FEBRUARY 1 - Poul Thomsen, the IMF official in charge of the restructuring of the Greek economy, explained in an interview with the Greek newspaper Kathimerini the troika's requests regarding the Memorandum, decided in agreement with the Greek government. He explained that the move is not his own initiative, but one based on the will and opinion of Greece's international creditors.

Thomsen said that that it will not be necessary to cut the 13's and 14's month's salary in the private sector to reduce labour costs if at least the minimum guaranteed wage is lowered for a short period. Also, Thomson came back on the question of merger or closure for unnecessary state bodies, and the dismissal of their staff. ''Suggestions that Greece is not able to adjust to the new situation because misgovernment, tax evasion, corruption and other problems have become part of the DNA of people in Greece are unacceptable. They offend all citizens who have already made a lot of sacrifices,'' said Thomsen. "We all agree on one thing: Greece still lack competitiveness. A variety of steps must be taken to solve this problem, wages are only one aspect. But it is clear that salaries - for the economy as a whole - are high in relation to Greece's productivity." ''We want guarantees,'' Thomson added, ''to grant the loan before the elections. It will be a discussion on details, but this is something we always ask in a situation before elections.

We have done the same last year before the elections in Portugal. We have made mistakes, in fact I believe that economic recovery leans heavily on tax increases, while we should have focused more on cutting expenditure. This is one of the sectors in which we could have pushed the government more,'' Thomson concluded. (ANSAmed).

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