This is the sixth time since the country withdrew from the European aid program in 2018 and received financial support to reduce its debt burden.
At the meeting, the Eurogroup discussed Greece’s progress in implementing reforms and its macroeconomic outlook, based on the 12th Advanced Monitoring Report published on 24 November. past.
After a sharp drop in economic activity in 2020, the European Commission’s (EC) Autumn forecast points to a substantial economic recovery in Greece this year and in 2022 and 2023. Timely, targeted and temporary assistance provided by the Government of Greece has reduced the impact of the pandemic on businesses and workers. The government’s efforts have been supported by new EU tools, such as the NextGeneration EU-NGEU and the Temporary Unemployment Risk Reduction Facilitation Tool. emergency picture (SURE). The implementation of reforms and investment in Greece’s recovery and response plan will provide a significant driver of growth and should provide the basis for underpinning efforts to support the green transition and digital.
In its statement on Greece, the Eurogroup welcomed the new political reforms that the Greek Government had implemented in light of the difficult circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic and the severe fire of August 2021. In particular, respecting specific commitments in the area of public financial management, setting up a table of accounts for the government and adopting antitrust measures in the energy sector, complement the commitments already made. performed in this area. In addition, progress has been made in the simplification of investment licenses, privatization and governance of public enterprises, social protection and public administration.
Eurogroup emphasizes that uncertainty related to the pandemic still exists and calls on Greece to continue to definitively address the medium-term risks and challenges identified in the 12th Enhanced Monitoring Report. Eurogroup encouraged the Greek authorities to continue and intensify their efforts in financial sector reform and debt forgiveness, noting some delays in the areas of justice and health. These issues will continue to be monitored through enhanced monitoring.
Against this backdrop, the Eurogroup welcomes the assessment of European organizations that, despite the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic, Greece has taken the necessary measures to meet its specific reform commitments. body. Subject to the completion of national procedures, the Eurogroup Working Group and the Governing Council of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) are expected to approve the transfer of equivalent earnings under the purchase scheme. return SMP-ANFA government bonds and reduce margin return to zero of EFSF capital. Eurogroup awaits its 13th enhanced monitoring report, expected to be published in February 2022.
Greece is considering early repayment of the remaining amount of the loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as prepayment of part of its loans under the Greek Loan Fund (GLF) corresponding to principal payments are due in 2022 and 2023 under the GLF, in order to have a positive impact on Greece’s public finances.
The ESM and EFSF, the predecessor of the ESM emergency fund set up by the eurozone, lent Greece more than 200 billion euros between 2010 and 2018. That support has kept the country in the eurozone.