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ECB chief Trichet deplores 'intolerable' auditing practises

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-15

European bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet (pictured) has slammed Greek officials for “intolerable” auditing practices, saying that using unverified figures "should not have been tolerated."

AFP - European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet on Sunday told debt-ridden Greece to strengthen its audit procedures, saying that using unverified figures "should not have been tolerated."

"Greece must strengthen the verification of its figures," Trichet told RTL radio. Producing badly checked statistics "should not have been tolerated and is intolerable," he added.

The Greek government, elected in October, caused consternation in the 16-nation eurozone when it reported a public deficit of 12.7 percent of gross domestic product for and total debt equal to 113 percent.

This compared with EU norms of three percent and 60 percent, respectively.

Greek's previous Conservative government has been widely claimed for producing unreliable figures.

At a special summit on Thursday, the European Union expressed support for Greece's efforts to rein in its budget deficit and total debt but stopped short of spelling out what it would do exactly to help.

Trichet said he was satisfied by Greek government undertakings to sort its finances out. "These undertakings are enough, they're serious."

"I'm waiting for a Greek recovery plan to be put into action under the surveillance of other European countries," he said when asked about a meeting of EU finance ministers due to start in Brussels on Monday

The ministers are expected to agree a series of exceptional measures aimed at aiding a recovery in Greece where its massive deficit and unreliable economic figures have made it the weakest link for investors in the eurozone.

Amid market fears that other eurozone nations might mirror Greece's crisis, Trichet said, "I have no reason to doubt the sincerity and the transparency of any (European) country."

Date created : 2010-02-15

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