* Chief of parliament's budget experts resigns
* Experts' report had criticised government
* Finance Minister had attacked the report
ATHENS, Sept 1 The chief of an independent Greek
budget committee resigned on Thursday after the country's
finance minister attacked the group for saying debt dynamics
were 'out of control', sources said.
The resignation may further complicate debt-choked Greece's
already difficult negotiations with its international lenders
about the disbursement of further aid tranches under a 110
billion euro ($156 bln) rescue package agreed last year.
The parliamentary experts' committee, headed by economist
Stella-Savva Balfousia, said on Wednesday that Greece's debt
dynamics were out of control and that the government was failing
to restore public finances.
The committee also urged the government to redouble efforts
to fight tax evasion and reduce primary deficits, in view of a
recession that was worse than expected -- a demand also likely
to be made by the inspectors from the European Union and
International Monetary Fund currently in Athens.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday scathingly
attacked the committee. "Yesterday's report lacks elements of
credibility of other international reports," he said in a
statement. "All necessary measures will be taken to upgrade and
improve the credibility of the committee," he added.
Balfousia stepped down later on Thursday after Venizelos's
comments, parliamentary and top government sources said. "She
has submitted her resignation to the parliament speaker," one
The committee was appointed by the Finance Ministry in 2010
as part of efforts to increase the transparency of the country's
Balfousia, who was not available to comment, was also a key
player in a previous panel of experts, which had unearthed
statistical irregularities and manipulations used to conceal the
true state of Greece's finances.
($1 = 0.702 Euros)
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)