Greece's reform pace needs a boost to spur growth -Commission

Reuters

BRUSSELS, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Greece has made progress intackling fiscal problems but needs to accelerate theimplementation of structural reforms and raise the efficiency ofpublic administration to spur growth, the European Commissionsaid on Tuesday.

Athens has been on an international financial life linesince 2010, with loans granted in exchange for spending cuts andreforms. After more than three years of painful economicadjustment the government has repeatedly ruled out imposing newausterity measures on a nation now in its sixth year ofrecession.

The Commission, together with the International MonetaryFund and the European Central Bank, have stressed the importanceof speedy structural reforms to help the country to recover.

In a report, the Commission pointed to the need for a wellfunctioning tax system, a reform of central publicadministration and the creation of a supportive and predictablebusiness environment.

"Growth and job creation can only come from thrivingcompanies with easy access to liquidity and markets," the EUexecutive said in the Fifth Activity Report on Greece.

Greece, expected to return to growth next year, is currentlyat odds with international creditors over the size of thecountry's budget gap next year, prompting talk that Athens mightbe forced to adopt new austerity measures.

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