Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010

Greece prepares 2010 economic plan for Brussels

A Greek man sells tissues outside closed store
Greece is trying to reassure markets about its economy

Greece is set to tell the European Commission how it aims to control its public finances and get its beleaguered economy back on track in 2010.

Its debt problems represent a major test of the euro in its 12th year, as markets wait to see how the 16-nation eurozone reacts to Greece's problems.

Government debt ratings have been downgraded in Greece by all three major international rating agencies.

Commission financial experts will subject the plan to severe scrutiny.

Leading economists in Greece have spent the New Year holiday period refining the document.

"Greece has committed to sending its stability programme early in January," said commission spokeswoman Amelia Torres on Monday.

"We have not received it yet."

Fresh measures

The BBC's Athens correspondent, Malcolm Brabant, says that the country's political leaders hope the economic document will start to restore confidence in what is seen as the weakest link of the eurozone.

Many of the proposals for saving money were contained in a pre-Christmas speech by Prime Minister George Papandreou.

In December, the Greek government unveiled measures including a 10% cut in public spending.

However, according to a spokeswoman for the Greek finance ministry, the draft document for Brussels will contain some additional measures which will be kept confidential.

Our correspondent says that if the Greek proposals fail to find favour with the financial markets it could undermine the country's credibility still further.

There are fears that further market attacks on Greece could have a knock-on effect on Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain, whose economies are all also in trouble, and which account for 36% of European debt.



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