July 13, 2011 – ATHENS (Reuters) - Poul Thomsen, the International Monetary Fund's mission chief for Greece, gave a news conference on Wednesday to present the multilateral lender's latest review of Greece's efforts to deal with its debt burden.
Following are highlights of comments by Thomsen:
"What the debt sustainability analysis shows is that if potential growth in the medium term is much slower, if they don't undertake the structural reforms ... if these reforms don't take place, yes debt is not going to be sustainable."
"The issue is that the reforms need to restore robust potential growth once this fiscal adjustment is beyond us."
ON THE ECONOMY
"The economy is rebalancing. Manufacturing wages are down by seven percent, unit labor costs have improved by eight percent and manufacturing exports are up by some 22 percent. Inflation, if we adjust for the impact of tax increases, is running well below the euro zone average."
"This is an improvement in competitiveness. This is how a country in a currency union improves competitiveness and that improvement in competitiveness is clearly well under way."
ON NEW AID
"We are in the process of discussing private sector involvement (PSI). There will be some form of PSI." "There is no request for a new program. We have a program there, there is considerable undisbursed money of the IMF under that program."
(Reporting by Athens newsroom)