EU to Back Greek Deficit Plan; Wage Freeze Is Pledged

The European Commission today will ask finance ministers to endorse Greek measures to reduce the European Union’s biggest budget deficit as Prime Minister George Papandreou promised more action, including a freeze on state workers’ pay.

“Greece is in the center of a speculative game aimed at the euro,” Papandreou said in a televised speech in Athens late yesterday. “It is our national duty to stop the attempts to push our country to the edge of the cliff.”

Papandreou pledged to raise fuel taxes in a move that will boost income immediately, and said an overhaul of the tax system, which will increase 2011 revenue, would be targeted at the wealthier to protect poorer Greeks. He said it is time for Greece, like other EU countries, to take “brave decisions” and raise the retirement age.


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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza