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Greece sends mixed messages on ability to solve debt problems

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos speaks during an Economist conference in Athens.

Steve Chiotakis: Today the Greek government said it's gonna cut as many as 30,000 state jobs -- another step toward reducing its debt and meeting the requirements to get the next batch of European bailout money. But Greece also said today it won't meet its deficit target this year -- mixed messages at a time when eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Luxembourg today.

Reporter Caitlan Carroll has more.


Caitlan Carroll: The news that Greece will miss its debt target will provoke a reaction among finance ministers at the meeting today.

Guntram Wolff: Well, I am sure they will not be very happy. They will not be very happy. There will be a lot of bashing of the Greek political elite.

Guntram Wolff is deputy director at Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank. He says Greece has already enacted difficult and painful reforms, but there's doubt that it'll be enough.

Wolff: So in other words, we have been pretending that Greece is solvent that Greece can basically live up to what it promises to and they have repeatedly not managed to do it and I'm not blaming them. They have certainly faced very difficult circumstances.

Wolff thinks that E.U. officials should get to the root of the problem and restructure the country's debt. He says if the eurozone ministers really want Greece to succeed, they need to look beyond cutting and think about how to help the country grow again.

In Berlin, I'm Caitlan Carroll for Marketplace.

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