Olli Rehn: New austerity cuts may be required in Greece

Greece may be required to make additional austerity cuts in order to meet 2011 budget deficit reduction targets, the EU’s economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said Monday.

“Fiscal targets for 2011 will be maintained which may require some additional measures of fiscal consolidation in order to stick to the fiscal targets,” Rehn told a press conference after talks between the Eurogroup of finance ministers for the eurozone.

New, upwardly-revised figures for Greek deficits and debts over each of the past four years were due to be made public by Rehn on Friday in Brussels, thanks to new audit powers handed to EU data agency Eurostat.
Eurostat uncovered “some new findings as regards certain entities which have to be reclassified as public entities which will have a certain impact upwards on the debt and deficit,” Rehn added.

However, the commissioner said they may not now be available until mid-November, allowing Athens to post revised budgets and the commission to assess the next steps with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

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