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Rehn cautions against reform slowdown

Commissioner Olli Rehn cautioned that the reform process in is slowing down and that Greece must accelerate to meet important milestones under the fiscal adjustment program.

"I am concerned about the slowing down of the process of reforms in Greece and that is going to be discussed today," Rehn told reporters after arriving in Luxembourg at a monthly meeting with euro area finance ministers. "It's important that Greece will be able to come back to the path of serious economic reforms. That's been the way to stabilize the economy and now the Greek economy is gradually moving to the other direction."

Asked if Greece is off the path in making the needed structural reforms Rehn said: "Greece I trust will return to a credible path of economic reforms shortly. Greece is returning to a path of economic reforms and I trust will meet the milestones even with some delays".

At Thursday's Eurogroup meeting finance ministers are expected to push Greece to stick to its adjustment program and announce another 7,000 public sector layoffs by the end of the year, a Commission source said.

Addressing ongoing talks over reforming Europe's budgetary rules -which many, including the International Monetary Fund, now say have become overly complicated-, Rehn softened previous discourse on the matter arguing that he was open to discussing changes to the rules.

"It's important that we respect the fiscal rules which have a significant degree of smart flexibility built in to them," he said. "I believe it is important to continue consistent consolidation of public finances".