ATHENS, Greece (AP) —
The Bank of Greece warned Tuesday that the country faces a
worse-than-expected recession in 2012, with the economy set to shrink 5
percent. It also urged politicians to make a swift return to
cost-cutting measures after the May 6 general election or face
"particularly harmful" economic consequences.
demanded for rescue loan deals have pushed Greece into a fifth year of
recession and brewed widespread popular discontent. Some economists fear
that politicians may be tempted to relax their focus on reforms after
"Domestic and overseas conditions do not allow for
the slightest complacency or relaxation ... Full readiness is required
the very day after the election campaign ends," central bank governor
George Provopoulos told the bank's annual general assembly.
European Union had recently predicted a 4.75 percent reduction in Greek
economic output this year. As the economy contracts, it becomes more
difficult for the government to reduce its deficit.
Provopoulos urged parties to stick to Greece's punishing austerity measures after the elections.
after the elections, the slightest doubt is cast on the will of the new
government and society to carry out the (reform) program, today's
positive prospects will be reversed and the country will rapidly find
itself in a particularly harmful situation," Provopoulos said.
polls indicate neither of the traditionally dominant parties — the
socialist Pasok and conservative New Democracy — will gain enough votes
to form a government without a coalition.
The financial and
economic crisis has seen a rise in anti-bailout political parties, with
even the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party vying for seats in the next
New Democracy led in the final opinion polls published
last Friday, and could seek to renew an uneasy coalition partnership
with Pasok that was created in November.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.