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(From Athens News Agency)
The Eurogroup early Tuesday welcomed an agreement reached with the Greek government on a policy package "that constitutes the basis for the successor programme", and also a package of additional austerity measures passed recently by the Greek parliament.
The Eurogroup acknowledged the "significant efforts already made by the Greek citizens", but also underlined that "further major efforts by the Greek society are needed to return the economy to a sustainable growth path".
Noting that ensuring debt sustainability and restoring competitiveness are the main goals of the new programme, the Eurogroup stresses that the success of the programme "hinges critically on its thorough implementation by Greece", meaning that "Greece must achieve the ambitious but realistic fiscal consolidation targets so as to return to a primary surplus as from 2013, carry out fully the privatisation plans and implement the bold structural reform agenda, in both the labour market and product and services markets, in order to promote competitiveness, employment and sustainable growth".
To this end, the Eurogroup said it deems essential a "further strengthening of Greece's institutional capacity", and therefore "invites" the European Commission "to significantly strengthen its Task Force for Greece" through an "enhanced and permanent presence on the ground in Greece in order to bolster" the Task Force's "capacity to provide and coordinate technical assistance", and pledged the eurozone member states' readiness to "provide experts to be integrated into the …