Greece has taken a first step towards meeting terms of a vital international bailout it needs in order to avoid bankruptcy.
And, as the 2012 budget bill was submitted to parliament, inspectors from Greece’s creditors, the EU, IMF and European Central Bank, were in Athens.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos was full of optimism.
“The 2012 budget can, under certain terms and conditions, if we are serious, united and reliable, be the budget that will begin to turn things around for this country,” he told deputies.
In another sign that things are moving, the Greek central bank governor held talks with the new national unity prime minister, Lucas Papademos.
The budget bill foresees no fresh austerity measures next year as long as reforms are enacted.
It aims to cut Greece’s deficit by more than a third from this year’s level to 5.4 per cent of GDP.