EC recommends closing Greece deficit procedure
14 July, 2017
The Commission decided to recommend to the Council to close the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) for Greece, the EU press service reported. This follows the substantial efforts in recent years made by the country to consolidate its public finances coupled with the progress made in the implementation of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) support programme for Greece.
“Our recommendation to close the procedure for Greece is another positive signal of financial stability and economic recovery in the country. I invite Greece to build on its achievements and continue to strengthen confidence in its economy,” VP Valdis Dombrovskis said. “This is a very symbolic moment for Greece. After so many years of sacrifices by the Greek people, the country is finally reaping the benefits of its efforts,” Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici added.
Greece has made significant progress in returning to a path of fiscal sustainability. The general government balance has improved from a deficit of 15.1% in 2009 to a surplus of 0.7% in 2016, well below the 3% threshold. According to the Commission Spring 2017 Economic Forecast, the positive fiscal performance of Greece is durable.
Separately, ESM head Klaus Regling said last Monday that Greece should develop a strategy for its return to market borrowing and raise private finance before its Eurozone bailout programme ends in a year's time. He pointed out that other countries such as Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus had returned to borrowing in markets “well before” the end of their programmes, in order to avoid a possible gap in funding.