Representatives of the European Commission, the
European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
warned Saturday that their bailout measures for Greece could fail
unless Athens introduces stricter structural reforms, according to dpa.
"Greece stands at a crossroads. It is clear that the (rescue)
programme will not succeed if the authorities do not take the path
that entails far stricter structural reforms than the ones we have
seen so far," Poul Thomsen, the IMF representative of the so-called
"troika" delegation told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag as they
wrapped up their latest inspection in the Greek capital.
"It is two steps forward and one step back," Thomsen added.
"The Greek government understands that many of the most difficult
changes still lie ahead. At the same time, there is an increase in
political and social fatigue," said the native Dane.
Thomsen's counterpart from the European Commission, Matthias Mors
of Germany, criticized the slow pace of reform of Greek premier
George Papandreou's government.
"The Greeks think it's enough to make laws. But their
implementation takes time. And often the necessary structures are
missing," Mors told Welt am Sonntag.
The comments were due to be published by the paper on Sunday,
hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was to meet French
President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the precarious situation of
eurozone banks and the crisis in Greece.
Ahead of that meeting in Berlin, World Bank President Robert
Zoellick fired a warning shot at Europe's dithering leaders, singling
out Germany for criticism.
"Much in politics happens through the art of bumbling, but the
economy and markets need orientation and clarity," Zoellick told
German economic weekly Wirtschaftswoche.
At a time when France was hampered by upcoming elections, Italy
was in turbulence and Britain was outside the eurozone, Zoellick
asked, "Where should the solution come from?"
German tax payers "are missing a political leadership that can
tell them in which direction their Europe should even develop," he
told the paper.
"The key question is whether people and governments in Europe want
to establish a political and financial union to complement the
currency union," Zoellick added.