The European Commission has announced that, on August 20, it will end its scrutiny of the Greek economy after 12 years of economic turmoil which began with the 2008 global financial crisis.
Greece’s economy has been monitored since 2018 after Athens exited three international bailouts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund totaling more than 260 billion euros between 2010 and 2015.
In an August 10 letter to Greek finance minister Christos Staikouras, EU economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said Greece had “delivered on the bulk of the policy commitments” made to the 19 eurozone member states and “achieved effective reform implementation” despite the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine.
The commission said that the risk of “spillover effects” on the broader European economy have “diminished significantly” and that more detailed monitoring was “no longer justified.”
Staikouras said on Twitter that the announcement marks a significant milestone for Greece.
“August 20th marks the achievement of a major national goal for Greece, ending the EU’s enhanced surveillance framework, thanks to the sacrifices of the Greek people, the prudent economic and reform-oriented policy consistently implemented by the government,” Staikouras said.
In a letter responding to Gentiloni, Staikouras said Greece had implemented reforms in six key areas — fiscal policies, social welfare, financial stability, labor markets, privatization and public administration — which had “put in place a solid platform for Greece to achieve sustainable and inclusive long term growth.”
After the 2008 market crash, Greece entered into a debt crisis which led to bailouts by the European Union and International Monetary Fund beginning in 2010.
During the next 10 years, Greece’s economy shrank by a quarter and the disposable incomes of Greek citizens fell by a third as the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank imposed strict austerity policies. Greece’s unemployment rate peaked at 27.8 percent in 2013 and the country was almost pushed out of the eurozone in 2015.
After EU officials visited Athens in April, the commission found that Greece’s economic growth was forecast to reach 3.5 percent in 2022 and 3.1 percent in 2023.
Greece is scheduled to pay a final installment of debt relief in November provided that the country satisfies the requirements of a “post-program surveillance” report.
Is The Pappas Post worth $5 a month for all of the content you read? On any given month, we publish dozens of articles that educate, inform, entertain, inspire and enrich thousands who read The Pappas Post. I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep the quality of our content high — and free. Click here and start your monthly or annual support today. If you choose to pay (a) $5/month or more or (b) $50/year or more then you will be able to browse our site completely ad-free!