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December 1, 2010

The challenge for Greece to meet bailout goals

Reuters piece by Renee Maltezou with a grocery list of troubles facing the Greek economy deep in the throes of both economic slowdown, and the pressures of strict bailout rules as part of the IMF/eurozone deal:

"The debt-choked country's lenders said in November that Athens was broadly on track with its fiscal plan so far, but needed to step up efforts next year to increase tax collection, shore up public enterprises and rein in health spending.

Greece expects to get more time to repay its EU/IMF 110-billion-euro loan and hopes this will dilute fears that it may need to restructure its debt after the bailout expires in 2013.

Investors question whether it can sustain fiscal efforts in the face of a bleak economic outlook and public discontent.

Apparently the big challenges are happening soon: an increase in the VAT tax, a freeze on pensions, and the Dec 20 vote for the 2011 budget which is full of new cuts.

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