Greek recession milder than forecast, finance minister says

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's finance minister says his country's recession is milder than expected and that the economy will shrink by less than the forecast 4 percent this year.

George Papaconstantinou told deputies in Parliament Wednesday that there was now "light at the end of the tunnel" though problems remain.

He repeated the government's position that there was no question of Greece restructuring its debt.

Greece narrowly avoided defaulting on its debt in May, after receiving the first batch of rescue loans from a three-year, euro110 billion package of loans from the International Monetary Fund and European Union.

It has pledged to reduce its deficit from 13.6 percent of gross domestic product last year to 8.1 percent at the end of 2010.