Bank lobby chief praises Greek austerity

Bank lobby chief Dallara praises Greek austerity, says EU needs better balance on growth, cuts

Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- The head of an international banking lobby has praised Greece's recently approved austerity package, saying it provides a "comprehensive framework for reform."

Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Finance, said Greek governments had shown "impressive willingness to bear short-term pain for long-term gain" in passing a major round of new cuts. They were approved last week and are worth €13.5 billion ($17 billion).

Dallara led negotiations with Greece earlier this year to restructure the country's debt held by the private sector, wiping some €100 billion off the national debt.

Speaking at a banking event in Athens, Dallara said the eurozone countries need to find a better balance between austerity and growth, with an over-emphasis on cuts causing the risk of a "protracted era" of recession or low-growth.

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