April 30, 2018 / 12:58 PM / 23 days ago

OECD chief says Greece deserves debt relief after 'enormous' reform effort

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has made an “enormous” reform effort since its debt crisis broke out and its international lenders must now grant the country debt relief, OECD chief Angel Gurria said on Monday.

General Secretary of OECD Angel Gurria gives Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a copy of the OECD report on Greece, at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece. April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

Gurria, who met Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens, urged Greece to continue with reforms after its third international bailout expires in August.

“I want to congratulate the entire Greek people for an enormous reform effort, it was a very ambitious reform package,” he said in translated comments. “And these reforms are bearing fruit.”

In its latest survey on Greece, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development sees the Greek economy growing by two percent this year and possibly by 2.3 percent next year, Gurria said.

He welcomed the country’s national growth strategy, which was presented to euro zone finance minister last week, but warned that high unemployment and low investment were still among the challenges that Greece faced.

Tsipras said Greece and the OECD would work together in the post-bailout period and reiterated that Greece does not need any more belt-tighthening but relief measures instead.

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Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Renee Maltezou, Editing by William Maclean

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