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IMF’s Thomsen Says Greece Faces Strong Adjustment Going Forward

May 18 (Bloomberg) -- 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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maria Petrakis at

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