WASHINGTON (MNI) – The following is the text of the joint statement
Thursday by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the
International Monetary Fund with their initial findings from the interim
review of Greece’s fiscal program:

Staff teams from the European Commission (EC), the European Central
Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Athens
during June 14-17 to follow up on recent developments and implementation
of policies under the economic program for Greece.

While the mission did not undertake a comprehensive review at this
time, its discussions suggest that the program is on track and that
policies are being implemented as agreed:

* Fiscal developments are positive with central government revenues
coming in closely as expected and with firm expenditure control in the
state budget. Based on preliminary cash data, through end-May, the state
budget deficit was lower than was projected in the program. A final
assessment would have to take account of developments outside central
government, for which complete information is not available at this

* The pension reform is advanced and agreement has been reached on
many key parameters as envisaged in the memorandum of understanding. The
authorities are conducting the required projections to assess the
contribution that pension reform will make to improve the long-term
sustainability of public finances.

* Other structural reforms are also progressing, including in the
areas of local administration, privatization, labor market, and tax

* On the financial sector, good progress is being made toward
establishment of the Financial Stability Fund. Liquidity in the banking
sector remains adequate.

Next steps. The three teams will return to Athens toward the end of
July to conduct a comprehensive review under the program, including an
assessment of progress relative to quantitative targets and benchmarks
for end-June. This will be the first formal review under the program.
Satisfactory completion of this review would enable Greece to make the
second drawing under the program.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **

[TOPICS: M$$CR$,MI$$$$,M$X$$$,MFX$$$,MGX$$$,M$$EC$]