Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Greek central bank chief expects modest growth after 6-year recession, warns recovery fragile

Protesting former Finance Ministry cleaning staff shout slogans following scuffles with riot police outside the ministry headquarters in central Athens, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Former ministry cleaning staff, who lost their jobs last year, were angry at a court decision temporarily freezing a previous ruling in favor of their being re-hired. The bailed-out country's central bank said Thursday that Greece's economy is expected to grow about 0.5 percent this year after a punishing 6-year recession, but warned that there must be no slackening in the pace of reforms. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Enlarge Image

Protesting former Finance Ministry cleaning staff shout slogans following scuffles with riot police outside the ministry headquarters in central Athens, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Former ministry cleaning staff, who lost their jobs last year, were angry at a court decision temporarily freezing a previous ruling in favor of their being re-hired. The bailed-out country's central bank said Thursday that Greece's economy is expected to grow about 0.5 percent this year after a punishing 6-year recession, but warned that there must be no slackening in the pace of reforms. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's outgoing central bank chief said Thursday that the country's battered economy is on track to expand again after a punishing six-year recession, but warned that any slippage in reforms could still lead to disaster.

George Provopoulos said in a report that confidence is growing in the bailed-out country's economy's prospects and markets "anticipate a gradual exit from the crisis."

The report expects the economy to grow 0.5 per cent this year, just below the government's 0.6 per cent forecast.

But it warns that "the slightest backtracking or reversal" in economic reforms could cause instability and lead to Greece losing bond market access again.

In April, the country successfully sold its first bonds since it was priced out of the market more than four years ago, when international investors were spooked by the country's soaring debt levels.

Greece has since then implemented harsh spending cuts, reforms and tax hikes to secure international bailouts. The deeply resented belt-tightening contributed to a depression-like economic slump, while unemployment shot up to record highs.

Data released Thursday showed unemployment was 27.8 per cent in the first quarter, unchanged from the last quarter of 2013 and slightly higher than a year earlier. The Statistical Authority figures showed unemployment remained highest among 15- to 24-year-olds, at 56.7 per cent.

The central bank report said that, despite progress in the public sector reforms, the government must still address delays and gaps in the program. It also stressed that over the next five years, further efforts are needed to rationalize public spending and improve tax administration.

The conservative-led governing coalition said Thursday it was continuing to meet its deficit targets. Preliminary figures showed a primary budget surplus of 711 million euros ($962 million) in January-May, about 500 million euros above target. The primary surplus does not include the cost of servicing the country's crippling debt.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates