Greece succeeding in cutting deficits, but more reforms needed to overcome recession

A report by the International Monetary Fund praises Greece for its efforts to reduce big deficits and improve its competitiveness, but warns that more structural reforms, including better tax collection, and more public sector layoffs, are necessary to help the heavily indebted country overcome a deep recession.

The report notes that Greece's "exceptional, by any international comparison" success in reducing its deficit has been helped by "unprecedented support" from its European partners, which have lent it some €173 billion ($226 billion) over the past three years, a sum equal to almost three quarters of the country's gross domestic product.

The report blames Greece's failure to tackle tax evasion, open up closed professions and shrink the bloated public sector for the recession, which has shrunk the economy by over 20 percent.