UPDATE 1-Czech FinMin distrusts Greek pledges to cut deficit

* Says “nonsense” to cut deficit as fast as Greece plans

* Says cutting deficits by each percentage point tough

(Adds quotes, details)

PRAGUE, Feb 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece will find it impossible to
to slash the country’s budget deficit as fast as promised, Czech
Finance Minister Eduard Janota said on Wednesday.

The non-partisan member of the EU members’ interim
government said he was speaking from experience in the Czech
Republic, whose deficit jumped to around 6.6 percent last year.

“They are claiming they are able to lower the deficit from
13 percent to 3 percent in three years,” Janota told a business
breakfast.

“In my eyes, it is nonsense. I know that lowering the
deficit by one percentage point in the Czech (Republic) is a
great problem,” he said.

Greece has pledged to slash the deficit by 4 percentage
points this year to 8.7 percent amid market turbulence that has
sent government bond yields up as investors worried about the
government’s ability to raise new debt.

Greece, a euro zone member, must prove to Brussels by
mid-March that it can meet its ambitious budget targets.

Other euro zone member states led by Germany have said
Greece must help itself and cannot expect others to bail it out.
[ID:nLDE61M27Q]

Later in the discussion, Janota repeated the speed of budget
consolidation promised by Greece was “nonsense”, and added that
it was “impossible without some drastic, or even draconian
measures”.

The comments were unusually harsh words from Janota, who
chose more cautious language when asked about Greek budget plans
in a Reuters interview last week.

Janota is a budget veteran who has served in the Czech
finance ministry since the 1970s.

“Lowering the deficit in three consecutive years, that is a
dramatic issue. And they cannot rely on taxes, because if one
hikes taxes, especially direct taxes, which I do not recommend,
he will undermine competitiveness,” he said.

“This has other contexts, lack of investor interest, and
economic decline and unemployment.”
Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Robert Mueller, writing by Jan Lopatka; Editing
by Toby Chopra)

UPDATE 1-Czech FinMin distrusts Greek pledges to cut deficit