Debt-hit Greece must step up spending cuts as other European taxpayers are not inclined to correct the mismanagement of past Greek governments, the head of the eurozone finance ministers said on Sunday.
"Greece must step up its efforts to limit its public deficit," Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurogroup of ministers that oversee the eurozone, said in a statement to Eleftherotypia daily.
"It must focus on further spending cuts and on ways to increase revenue."
"Greece must understand that taxpayers in Germany, Belgium or Luxembourg are not prepared to correct Greek fiscal policy mistakes," he said.
The comments came a day before the European Union\'s economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn arrives in Athens to inspect progress on the Greek government\'s plans to slash state spending and boost tax revenue.
Luxembourg has expressed readiness to help Greece if asked but "we must first be persuaded that the (Greek) measures are serious," Juncker said.
Greece has come under market pressure as the weak link in the euro since it revealed late last year that its public deficit and debt were much worse than initially thought.
The Greek deficit is over four times the allowed EU limit at 12.7 percent and the country is also saddled with a debt of nearly 300 billion euros (408 billion dollars).
The Socialist government has pledged to cut the deficit by four percentage points of gross domestic product to 8.7 percent this year, but there are widespread doubts that the recession-hit country will meet this goal.
If the programme proves insufficient, a meeting of EU finance ministers could demand even harsher corrective action at a meeting on March 16.
On Thursday, the semi-state Athens News Agency reported that an EU and European Central Bank mission to Athens that prepared the ground for Rehn\'s visit had raised "key objections" to Greek income forecasts.
If austerity measures failed to bear fruit then additional policies to raise 3.6 billion to 4.8 billion euros (4.0 billion to 6.5 billion dollars) would be necessary, the report cited mission members as saying.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has said he will use the crisis to remedy chronic waste in public administration.
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