UPDATE 1-C.Bank head says Greece must reform or pay price

* Greece must reform or pay huge price for inaction

* Deficit, debt a result of chronic macroeconomic problems

* Balance of payments deficit unsustainable – Provopoulos

* Policy mix needed to fix imbalances

(adds quotes, background)

ATHENS, Feb 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece’s balance of payments
deficit is unsustainable and the country will pay a huge price
if it fails to press ahead with economic reforms, central bank
governor George Provopoulos said on Tuesday.
Greece is under mounting pressure from markets and EU
policymakers to slash its large debt and deficit. It must prove
to Brussels by mid-March that it can meet its ambitious targets
or be prepared to take further fiscal measures.

“The crisis could be an opportunity to implement the needed
reforms and not just talk about them, given that the cost
opportunity of not implementing them would be huge,” Provopoulos
said according to a written text of a speech during a book
presentation.

The central banker, also a member of the European Central
Bank’s Governing Council, said the large debt and deficit were
only partly due to the recession and mainly a result of chronic
macroeconomic imbalances.

“The balance of payments deficit is not sustainable,” he
said. “A policy mix which will bring back the macroeconomic and
microeconomic imbalance and improve the economy’s
competitiveness and productivity is needed to restore its
sustainability.”

Stock Market Basics

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Ingrid
Melander; editing by John Stonestreet)

UPDATE 1-C.Bank head says Greece must reform or pay price