‘A historic day’: Greek economy emerges from enhanced EU surveillance

‘A historic day’: Greek economy emerges from enhanced EU surveillance

After twelve years of reinforced surveillance imposed by the European Commission, Greece is turning a page, “a historic day for Greece and the Greeks”, announced this Saturday August 20 the Greek Prime Minister in an address to the nation.

“A 12-year cycle that has brought pain to citizens, stagnated the economy, and divided society is closing,” Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday.

“A clear new horizon of growth, unity, prosperity is emerging for all,” he added.

In 2010, the Greek government, realizing that its coffers were empty, appealed to the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Since 2010, three rescue plans of 289 billion euros have been put in place by these creditors who are demanding that Athens take austerity measures aimed at improving the country’s public finances and bringing money into the crates.

Pensions and wages are reduced, taxes are increased, public hiring is frozen, the budgets of administrations, hospitals, and all public bodies are cut.

Verify the implementation of the reforms adopted and the continuation of privatizations

In 2018, the third program ends, but the European Commission then launches a regime of reinforced surveillance of the Greek economy to verify the implementation of the reforms taken and the continuation of privatizations. Athens also undertakes to maintain a primary surplus (before debt service) of 3.5% of gross domestic product (GDP).

“The end of the reinforced surveillance of Greece also marks the symbolic conclusion of the most difficult period that the euro zone has known,” European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said in a statement on Saturday.

“Our strong collective response to the (COVID-19) pandemic has shown that Europe has learned the lessons of this crisis,” he also said.

“Today’s Greece is a different Greece,” assured the Prime Minister.

“We have strong growth and a significant drop in unemployment of 3% since last year and 5% since 2019,” he also added.

The European Commission expects growth of 4% this year while on average in the euro zone it should rise to 2.6%.

But unemployment remains one of the highest in the euro zone, the minimum wage one of the lowest and the debt of 180% of GDP remains a burden on the country’s economy.

(With AFP)

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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