Olli Rehn: The Situation for Greek Citizens Remains Very Difficult

EU Finance Chief Olli Rehn

The fifth report of the EU ‘task force’ for Greece, a group of experts sent by Brussels to Athens to help the government deal with structural funds and work on scheduled projects, has been positive.

‘While we are seeing encouraging signs of economic stability in Greece and are expecting a return to growth in 2013, the situation for citizens remains very difficult especially given the high number of unemployed’, said EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn.

The use of EU funds has ‘sensibly improved’ and this is also encouraging, Rehn said. In particular, infrastructure funds worth over 7 billion euros were unblocked after a number of projects had been frozen due to the administration’s inefficiency.

The task force – including 60 experts mostly from Finland, Holland and Germany – helped improved the public administration, collecting taxes and training.
(source: ANSA)


  1. What a bad joke!- READ FROM Kathimerini.com – Monday, October 21, 2013

    “GREECE: A Country Striving for Normality”

    By Alexis Papachelas

    When quizzed about whether he is considering calling early elections, Prime
    Minister Antonis Samaras customarily replies that the country will go to the
    polls in 2016. Too bad few people believe that to be the case. There is nothing
    that Greece needs more than normality and stability. Whatever primary surplus
    the country produces, no matter how many investors come in search of business
    opportunities, nothing will ever change if no one knows which direction the
    country is taking.

    Greece has been a “normal country” during certain periods in history. These
    days normality is something to strive for. On the one hand we realize the
    importance of keeping it together as a nation, while on the other we flirt with
    national division, major conspiracies and preparing the ground for entering an
    “abnormal” phase.

  2. Mr. Rehn, the situation is very bad…We don’t have more money to give…Our corrupt Greek politicians cannot collect Taxes from Tax evaders and the government is hiding the “Lagarde List”…Samara and his government are shielding and protecting the ones who looted our wealth and we the poor are helpless to do anything…Mr. Rehn, you have the power forcing the government to act fairly by stopping the aid so they can act…Our politicians are traitors and corrupt and you including the entire world knows that…By stopping the aid you force the Greek government to act on these 2 issues…The world must know that past and present politicians including their parasites are the cause of this country’s bankruptcy…

  3. Samaras and the rest of his germanotsoliades traitors in ND/PASOK have destroyed the country and continue to make the situation worse. Maybe we should sell off some state assets at below market prices to please your euro masters.

    Here is the latest absolutely disastrous news from Elstat, reporting on Q2 Greek Non-financial sector accounts

    During the second quarter of 2013, disposable income of the households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) sector (S.1M) decreased by 9.3% in comparison with the same quarter of the previous year, from 33.2 billion euro to 30.1 billion euro. This was mainly on account of a decrease of 13.9% in the compensation of employees and a decrease of 12.4% in social benefits received by households.

    This was the biggest drop in household disposable income since Q3 2012. Is this part of the Grecovery?

    Next, the savings rate of the households and NPISH sector, defined as gross savings divided by gross disposable income, was -8.7% in the second quarter of 2013, compared with -6.7% in the second quarter of 2012.

    So, households are broke, unemployed, and have negative savings. But at least the stock market is up. Is this, too, part of the Grecovery?

    Finally, remember that myth about the suddenly accountable and responsible Greek government, which has a primary surplus, and is living within its means? Then please explain the following:

    Net borrowing of general government (S.13) during the second quarter of 2013 amounted to 14.0 billion euro, compared with 3.8 billion euro in the second quarter of 2012. The increase in the General Government deficit in the second quarter of 2013 is due to capital transfers in the context of the program of state aid to specific banks. Net borrowing of general government excluding the impact of the support to financial institutions in the second quarter 2012 amounted to 2.6 billion euro.

    This was the biggest quarterly government borrowqing in well… ever. Is this the final component of the Grecovery?

    And some other independent data poinst:

    Greek 2Q Govt Deficit Widens to 16.6% of GDP From 11.0% in 1Q – obviously, this spells Grecovery

    Greek Debt Swells to 169.1% of GDP in 2Q, Nearing Pre-PSI Levels – this definitely must be the Grecovery, right?

    The good news for all the broke, unemployment, incomeless Greeks: you still have your precious Euro.



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