Greece begins a new chapter following the conclusion of its stability support programme

Moscovici Greece 2018 August

Pierre Moscovici, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs holds a press conference on the conclusion of the stability support programme for Greece. © European Union , 2018 / Photo: Lukasz Kobus.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

Greece has successfully concluded a three year European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme with its place at the heart of the euro area and European Union secured.

The successful conclusion of the programme is a testament to the efforts of the Greek people, the country’s commitment to reform, and the solidarity of its European partners.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The conclusion of the stability support programme marks an important moment for Greece and Europe. While their European partners have demonstrated their solidarity, the Greek people have responded to every challenge with a characteristic courage and determination. I have always fought for Greece to remain at the heart of Europe. As the Greek people begin a new chapter in their storied history, they will always find in me an ally, a partner and a friend.”

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “The conclusion of the stability support programme is good news for both Greece and the euro area. For Greece and its people, it marks the beginning of a new chapter after eight particularly difficult years. For the euro area, it draws a symbolic line under an existential crisis. The extensive reforms Greece has carried out have laid the ground for a sustainable recovery: this must be nurtured and maintained to enable the Greek people to reap the benefits of their efforts and sacrifices. Europe will continue to stand by Greece’s side.”

A total of €61.9 billion in loans have been provided to Greece under this stability support programme on the basis of implementation of a comprehensive and unprecedented reform package. This stability support programme took a coordinated approach to tackle long-standing and deep-rooted structural issues that contributed to Greece experiencing an economic crisis.

Greece has taken measures to ensure its fiscal sustainability, bringing the general government balance from a significant deficit to surplus in 2017, which is projected to be maintained. These reform measures and consolidation efforts will have cumulative effects over time, and will thus continue to positively impact fiscal sustainability well beyond the conclusion of the programme.

The financial sector is now in a much stronger position as a result of successful recapitalisation operations, an overhaul of bank governance, and work to implement a strategy to reduce non-performing loans, which must be sustained.

The efficiency and efficacy of the public administration has been improved including through the introduction of new rules on the appointment, assessment and mobility of public sector employees; the establishment of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue; and measures to make the judicial system more efficient.

Finally, important structural measures have been put in place to improve Greece’s business environment and competitiveness to make Greece an attractive destination for investment and allow businesses already in place to expand, innovate and create jobs; as well as to establish sustainable and universal pensions, health care and social benefit systems, including a guaranteed minimum income scheme.

When taken together, these transformative reforms have laid the foundations for a sustainable recovery, putting in place the fundamental conditions needed for sustained growth, job creation and sound public finances in the years to come.

Improving economic indicators confirm that while work remains to be done, the efforts undertaken are already delivering tangible benefits by restoring order to public finances, reducing unemployment, and securing a return to growth. Economic growth has rebounded from -5.5% in 2010 to 1.4% in 2017 and is expected to remain around 2% in 2018 and 2019. The fiscal balance has progressed from a massive deficit of 15.1% in 2009 to a 0.8% surplus in 2017 (corresponding to a primary surplus of 4.2% in programme terms). Although unemployment remains unacceptably high, according to figures recently released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority, unemployment fell to 19.5% in May 2018, reaching a level below 20% for the first time since September 2011.

The conclusion of the programme marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another for Greece. It will be necessary to remain focused on fully addressing the social and economic consequences that are the legacy of the crisis years. This will require that the Greek authorities maintain ownership of reforms and ensure their sustained implementation, as per their commitments at the Eurogroup meeting of 22 June 2018. This is crucial to ingraining market confidence and strengthening Greece’s economic recovery, particularly in the immediate post-programme period.

Greece will be fully integrated into the European Semester of economic and social policy coordination to help ensure that the country and its people reap the full benefits of the efforts undertaken in recent years. In the post-programme period, the completion, delivery and continued implementation of reforms agreed under the programme will also be monitored through an enhanced surveillance framework.

The Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service will continue to assist the Greek authorities, upon their request, in the design and implementation of growth-enhancing reforms.

Background

Greece has benefitted from financial assistance from its European partners since 2010. The Greek authorities requested a new ESM stability support programme on 8 July 2015. The European Commission signed, on behalf of the ESM, a Memorandum of Understanding for a three year stability support programme on 20 August 2015.

On 23 June 2018, the Eurogroup confirmed that all of the prior actions under the fourth and final review of the stability support programme had been completed. The Eurogroup also reached an agreement on a strong package of debt measures, in addition to the short-term measures already in place, to ensure that Greece’s debt is sustainable in the longer run. On 6 August 2018, the ESM approved a final disbursement of €15 billion of financial assistance.

In total, €288.7 billion in loans have been provided to Greece since 2010. This includes €256.6 billion from its European partners and €32.1 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In parallel to the stability support programme, the Commission launched the plan for a “New Start for Jobs and Growth in Greece” in July 2015 to facilitate Greece maximising its use of EU funds to stabilise its economy and boost jobs, growth and investment. As a result of the exceptional measures adopted under the plan, Greece is now among the top absorbers of EU funds. For the period 2014-2020, Greece has already received almost €16 billion from a large pool of EU funds. This is equivalent to over 9% of the 2017 annual gross domestic product of Greece.

Greece is also the top beneficiary of the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), relative to GDP. The EFSI is now set to trigger well over €10 billion in investments and support more than 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Greece.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Sweden to reach its 2030 renewable energy target this year

The British “nonsense”, the relaxed Commissioner and the TTIP “chiaroscuro” at this week’s Council

Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

AIESEC Vlog

Youth policy in Europe not delivering for young people

“TTIP can boost the European project”; the Sting reports live from EBS 2015 on TTIP

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

Trust and support of Iraqis essential for success of UN’s Da’esh terror investigation

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Europe is no longer an innovation leader. Here’s how it can get ahead

A digital tax sounds like a great idea. Here’s why it might not be universally popular

IMF to teach Germany a Greek lesson

UN chief urges peaceful, free and fair elections in Cameroon

Strengthen inclusion, participation of people with autism to ‘achieve their full potential’ says UN chief

GSMA Announces First Keynote Speakers for 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

Why global collaboration is needed to protect against a new generation of cyber threats

Google case: A turning point in competition rules enforcement

Digital Single Market: Cheaper calls to other EU countries as of 15 May

One year on: EU-Canada trade agreement delivers positive results

Look Mom, even the House of Lords says the #righttobeforgotten is not right

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

UN agencies welcome regional road map to help integrate ‘continuing exodus of Venezuelans’

Facebook engineer working at the company’s HQ, Menlo Park, CA (Copyright: Facebook Inc., Source: Facebook Inc.’s website, newsroom)

Facebook goes under formal EU privacy scrutiny after latest massive data breach

What lies ahead for the Korean Peninsula?

Germany not famous for easy way outs from political stalemates

Tools of asset development: Renewable Energy Projects case

Working Muslim women are a trillion-dollar market

UN and partners appeal for $920 million to meet ‘dire needs’ of Rohingya refugees

Congrats to the #FutureofMalta: a new age of voting

Why cities hold the key to safe, orderly migration

US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

Medical workforce migration in Europe – Is it really a problem?

The 13th round of TTIP negotiations hits a wall of intense protests and growing concerns

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

What is inclusive capitalism, and why does it matter?

Fairer, simpler, more flexible EU farm policy: MEPs vote on post-2020 reform

‘Stop and listen’ to victims of terrorism, UN chief urges in message marking international day

Is the advent of nationalism to destroy economic neo-liberalism?

Commission launches new tool to support digital teaching and learning in schools

France is building a village for people with Alzheimer’s

FROM THE FIELD: One teen’s journey from refugee camp to US school principal

How smarter machines can make us smarter humans

Afghanistan: Bring ‘architects’ of latest ‘appalling’ suicide bombing to justice, says deputy UN mission chief

Austerity lovers and ‘relaxationists’ fight over the EU budget

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Eurozone 2013: Where to?

Vile act of torture prohibited ‘under all circumstances’, UN chief affirms on International Day to support victims

5 lessons for the future success of virtual and augmented reality

Chart of the day: These countries have the highest share of electric vehicles

Take medical use of cannabis seriously, say MEPs

From ‘dead on the inside’ to ‘truly alive’: Survivor of genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda recounts her story as UN marks 25th anniversary

Hollande protects the euro from the attacks of extremists

The EU to bear the cost of eventual sanctions against Russia

New Syria fighting represents ‘giant powder keg’, warns aid veteran, as he leaves UN stage

Ebola in DR Congo: UN chief ‘outraged’ by recent killings of civilians and health workers

A new way to teach active citizenship to students?

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] Greece begins a new chapter following the conclusion of its stability support programme  The European Sting […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s