The European Union on Wednesday endorsed a Greek plan to bring its national budget deficit back within the prescribed euro-zone limit of three percent of gross domestic product by 2012.
In 2009, Greece's deficit was more than four times over that limit, at 12.7 percent.
"We share the ambition of the program," said the EU's Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia in Brussels. "We consider that the program is ambitious, but also we consider that the program, in terms of objectives … and targets, is achievable."
However, in an unprecedented move, the European Union has reserved the right to monitor Greece's progress tackling its excessive public spending and to call for more drastic measures if the current plan fails to meet its targets.