September 7, 2012 - 22:35 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The EU Council President on Friday, Sept 7 urged Greece to press ahead with promised economic reforms and improve tax efficiency, insisting that compliance will allow the debt-crippled country to stay in the euro, The Associated Press reports.
Greece's conservative-led coalition government is rushing to finalize a new round of spending cuts for 2013-2014, without which it will stop receiving the vital rescue loans that have shielded the country from bankruptcy since May 2010.
The €11.5 billion ($14.6 billion) package follows more than two years of deeply resented income cuts and tax hikes, and has prompted a flurry of protests from state employees, including judges, police, firefighters and university professors.
Speaking after talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Van Rompuy praised Greek belt-tightening efforts so far, but added: "These efforts must continue with additional structural reforms ... (that confront) monopolies and vested interests across the economy, and include an upgrading of Greece's tax administration."
Van Rompuy said the program would eventually "bring the Greek people a performing public sector," and a competitive and growing economy.
"As long as the Greek authorities stay fully committed to these objectives and deliver results, I can assure you that European institutions and each and every member state will remain committed," he said. "I have no doubt that Greece's future is in the euro area."
Greek Finance Ministry said Friday it would investigate in the next few days some 54,000 people who have sent a total €22 billion to foreign bank accounts since 2009, when the crisis began. A ministry statement said inspectors would start with more than 3,000 individuals each of whom had sent at least €1 million abroad.