News Summary: Juncker admits Greek bailout errors

News Summary: Juncker concedes mistakes made on Greek bailout, notably on economy assessment

Associated Press

MY BAD: Former Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker conceded that mistakes were made in the bailout of Greece — days after a similar admission by the International Monetary Fund.

BUT GREECE STILL IN: The Luxembourg prime minister, who played a central role in the 2010 bailout out as the head of the euro finance ministers, said the European Union and IMF were "overly optimistic" in the early stages of the bailout. He insisted the $317 billion rescue met its basic aim of keeping Greece a member of Europe's single currency.

BIG TOLL: Juncker spoke during a visit to Athens, where EU and IMF inspectors are pressing for faster implementation of programs to fire civil servants and privatize state companies. Harsh spending cuts and tax hikes have reduced Greece's budget deficit, but its economy remains in deep recession and unemployment is 27 percent.

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