BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greece has made progress in tackling fiscal problems but needs to accelerate the implementation of structural reforms and raise the efficiency of public administration to spur growth, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
Athens has been on an international financial life line since 2010, with loans granted in exchange for spending cuts and reforms. After more than three years of painful economic adjustment the government has repeatedly ruled out imposing new austerity measures on a nation now in its sixth year of recession.
The Commission, together with the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, have stressed the importance of speedy structural reforms to help the country to recover.
In a report, the Commission pointed to the need for a well functioning tax system, a reform of central public administration and the creation of a supportive and predictable business environment.
"Growth and job creation can only come from thriving companies with easy access to liquidity and markets," the EU executive said in the Fifth Activity Report on Greece.
Greece, expected to return to growth next year, is currently at odds with international creditors over the size of the country's budget gap next year, prompting talk that Athens might be forced to adopt new austerity measures.(Reporting by Martin Santa, editing by Jan Strupczewski)