Bloomberg News

Reichenbach Says Greece Needs Jobs, Growth, Competitiveness

October 26, 2011

(Updates with quote in second paragraph.)

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Horst Reichenbach, who heads a European Union task force helping Greece with taxation issues and modernizing its bureaucracy, said the country will get the technical assistance it needs and that cooperation with Greek authorities was “firmly established.”

“There is great commitment on the Greek side to deliver,” Reichenbach told reporters in Athens today. Several international organizations are involved in giving Greece technical assistance and “there is really a lot of good will on the part of all of them to provide the technical support it requires and feels it needs.”

The force has worked with Greek authorities to identify areas of reform where expertise from other EU states can be utilized in Greece, he said. These include bringing down the cost of pharmaceuticals in health care, and improving the operation of the justice system to make court cases speedier and ensure that more cases are settled out of court.

Reichenbach stressed the “need to bring Greece back to a path of employment creation, of growth and competitiveness.”

Measures available that use EU structural funds can have an effect on growth, Reichenbach said. These include directing 500 million euros ($691 million) of guarantees from the European Investment Bank to small and medium enterprises, which have suffered from liquidity constraints on Greece’s banking system, and removing bottlenecks in Greece’s administrative capacity to absorb the funds.

--With assistance from Natalie Weeks in Athens. Editor: Peter Branton

To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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