A European Union official says Greece will need more rescue funds from its international creditors as the current rescue loan program expires at the end of 2014, amid economic slump in the European country. “Greece's trouble will not have been completely resolved by 2014. It’s realistic to assume that additional support will be needed beyond the program,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of the eurozone finance ministers' meeting, earlier this week.
Dijsselbloem refused to comment on the Greece's additional financing need, saying “Speculation at this stage isn't helpful. It's much too early to talk about the character of a new program, the size or the conditions of a new program.”Greece has been dependent on bailout funds from international rescue loans approved by the troika of international creditors - the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) - since May 2010. Last month, Greek officials said a new aid package is necessary to plug any funding shortfall over 2014-2016. This followed a report published by prominent German magazine Der Spiegel, saying the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, has indicated that the cash-strapped Mediterranean country will need more bailout loans from the so-called troika of international lenders by the start of 2014. The Greek economy is in its sixth year of recession due to fiscal mismanagement, resulting in tax rises and spending cuts. Meanwhile, the country’s unemployment rate stands at more than double the eurozone's average reading of 12.1 percent, reflecting a deepening recession after years of austerity being imposed under the EU bailout plan. Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries. MAM/PR