Broader economic guidelines are needed for to make the euro zone work, not just strict fiscal rules, Greece's finance minister was quoted as saying on Monday.

This is not only a question of a Greek crisis, but a general European problem. We cannot have a monetary union where there is not a common economic policy that all follow, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told Finnish business paper Kauppalehti in an interview.

A common economic policy cannot be defined only by fiscal measures. It must, for example, define how member countries take care of their competitiveness, Papaconstantinou said.

He said the European Union should have power to inspect developments in member states closely.

We want it that way. If it would have been like that, Greece's previous government would not have been able to distort public finance data.

Fears over Greece's bloated debt and an uproar over its reporting of economic statistics in recent weeks have roiled markets globally, driving bond yields up and the euro down.

The Greek government has responded with a plan to slash its public deficit from 12.7 percent of gross domestic product to less than 3 percent by 2012.

These are well-directed measures but I don't think that they will endanger growth, Papaconstantinou told the paper.

He added that the economic downturn from last year had carried into the start of this year, but things should start to improve later in 2010.

A turn to the better will happen only in the second half of the year, he said.