IMF Greece Mission Head Thomsen Says Nation Needs to Speed up Reforms Pace

Greece needs to quickly step up the pace of reforms to its economy if the EU-led program isn’t to run off track, Poul Thomsen, head of the IMF’s Greek mission, said.

“The Greek program has largely achieved what it set out to do,” Thomsen said at a conference in Athens today. “It won’t remain on track without reinvigoration of structural reforms. Without this it will run off track.”

Thomsen said he expected the economy would shrink about 1 percent more than expected this year and that an acceleration of structural reform in the public sector, among others, was needed to keep the deficit down.

“Without this acceleration, the deficit won’t be much below 10 percent in 2011,” he said. “There is no more low- hanging fruit out there - all the low-hanging fruit is gone. Difficult structural reforms are what lie ahead.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maria Petrakis at mpetrakis@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.