EU welcomes Greek reform pledge

The European Commission and Greece agreed on new structural reforms.

European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Picture: AFP

BRUSSELS - The European Commission welcomed an agreement reached by the Greek government on new structural reforms and called on Thursday for their determined implementation.

"The 10 priorities for structural reform announced today by the minister of development are a clear sign of the commitment of the Greek government to bring about the much-needed reform of the Greek economy. This is welcome," the Commission said in a statement.

"The pursuit of these priorities will make an important contribution to the broader reforms to which Greece is committed within the (memorandum of understanding) and which are needed to boost growth and employment," the European Union's executive arm said.

"We now expect determined implementation of all of Greece's reform commitments in full respect of (European) Union law, and in particular single market rules. Where relevant, the Commission Task Force will provide assistance."

Greek political leaders agreed to 11.5 billion euros of austerity cuts demanded under its bailout terms, opening the way for a deal with foreign lenders within the month, Greek officials said on Wednesday.

The junior partners in the conservative-led coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras set aside demands for an immediate renegotiation of the terms of the deal to ease talks with the "troika" of IMF and EU lenders.

With 3.2 billion euros in bond payments due in August, the clock is ticking for Greece to please visiting troika inspectors who will rule on whether Athens gets more cash from its 130-billion-euro bailout.