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ECB's Asmussen sees promising signs from Greece

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TOKYO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Greece is showing promising signsit can meet its fiscal targets next year, European Central Bankpolicymaker Joerg Asmussen said on Friday, adding that reformingwhile staying in the euro zone was the best way for Athens toget out of its debt crisis.

Greece, Spain and the euro zone's slow progress toward debtreform was centre stage at International Monetary Fund meetingsin Tokyo, where Asmussen was speaking, despite Europe's bestefforts to step out of the spotlight.

"The Greek authorities have to demonstrate that they cancontinue to stick to their commitments," Asmussen said in a textof comments for delivery in Tokyo. "We are seeing encouragingsigns that the fiscal targets for next year can be met."

"This is the best way out of its crisis: for Greece toreform within the euro area," he added.

The ECB, the European Commission, and the IMF form theso-called troika of international lenders who are working on areview of their 130 billion euro bailout programme for Greece.

Turning to the ECB's new bond-purchase programme - dubbed"Outright Monetary Transactions", or OMT - Asmussen said theplan should play a supportive role in changing perceptions aboutthe sustainability of euro zone countries' debts.

"It provides a credible backstop for tail risks and confirmsthat the euro is irreversible," he said of the programme.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara, writing by Paul Carrel inFrankfurt)

((paul.carrel@thomsonreuters.com)(+49 69 7565 1313))

Keywords: EUROZONE GREECE/ECB