Greece details budget cuts to EU

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Greece details budget cuts to EU

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European Union officials are in Greece to hear details of what the Athens government plans to do to get out of its current fiscal mess.

As they arrived on Wednesday, Greece insisted that it would not need a bailout from Brussels.

Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said “We are doing what needs to be done.”

He also said that comments from a member of the European Central Bank’s Executive Board were not helpful or necessary.

Papaconstantinou was responding to the ECB’s Juergen Stark who told a newspaper reporter that the EU would not bail out Greece if its debt problem worsened.

However analysts said Stark was probably talking tough to make the Greek government, and the Greek people, realise major public spending cuts are needed.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou this week told his ministers to move faster in cutting the country’s ballooning deficits and debt.

The government has just set itself tougher targets promising to reduce its double-digit budget deficit.

It now says it will bring it under the EU’s limit of three percent of GDP by 2012, a year earlier than previously planned.