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Greece is to submit a new draft of its stability programme to the European Commission in mid-January, according to a Greek spokesman in Brussels.

While the spokesman could not officially confirm that a delegation from the EU executive and the European Central Bank were to visit Athens on 6 January, he did say that he had understood from press reports that EU experts would be discussing the draft stability programme with Greek ministers with a view to getting it out within the next two weeks.

A spokesperson for Economic Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said, on 4 January, that the updated programme was due in the "course of the month". She added that the Commission would draft its opinion on it "in good time for the February Ecofin Council," which is to take place on 16 February.

The news comes after Athens was told by EU governments last month that it failed to take effective action on its burgeoning budget shortfall, and would be forced to resubmit its 2009 stability programme, originally sent over last January.


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