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Greek Economy Needs 'Structural Changes': Prime Minister

Greece's prime minister George Papandreou told CNBC Thursday that his country has to make substantial changes to recover from its devastating financial problems.

The former Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou
Pierre Verdy | AFP | Getty Images
The former Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou

"We have to make structural changes to the Greek economy in order for us to get beyond this debt crisis," Papandreou said. "We need to modernize our economy."

Greece is going through an enourmous debt crisis. Papandreou has committed the country to reducing its debt to 3 percent from the current 12.7 percent of GDP.

Papandreou said he is cutting the deficit through welfare cuts, tax reforms and savings on public-sector wages.

Papandreou also said the recent successful sale of eight billion euros in Greek 5-year bonds on Monday showed the world liked the new course Greece is on.

"The number of buyers and what it showed is that the Greek plan of putting our house in order got us a vote of confidence," Papandreou went on to say. "We are determined to move ahead. By 2012 we will be under the three percent of debt to GDP."

He also said that Greece hasn't asked for any financial help from France or Germany.

As for why investors should look to Greece in this troubled time, the prime minster said that his country has great potential.

"We have renewable forms of energy and we want people to come here where they can see what it's like living in a green ecoomy," said Papandreou. "Linking that with our tourist industry and our IT services, these are areas where Greece can excel."

Contact Europe: Economy

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