Sunday

20th Aug 2017

Opinion

A positive agreement for Greece

  • Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos (c) with his German and French counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble and Bruno Le Maire and EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici at Thursday's Eurogroup. (Photo: Council of the EU)

On 15 June, Greece’s creditors, Eurogroup, acknowledged the achievements of the Greek government on the implementation and outcome of fiscal policy measures.

The release of the next bailout tranche was agreed; more clarity was provided on the debt relief roadmap as well as next steps towards boosting growth.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

These developments have delivered a positive signal to the markets and the Greek people, indicating that the Greek economy is steadily exiting the final stages of a longstanding and harrowing financial crisis.

For the first time since 2010, Greece’s creditors have pledged to prioritize a growth-oriented model that entails the participation of the European Investment Bank in medium- and large-scale investment projects, as well as the creation of a Greek Development Bank – a proposal that the Greek government has made since 2015.

The reluctance of the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, to accelerate the conclusion of the bailout review was significantly addressed after the Greek government, the European Commission, the French government and the progressive forces in the European institutions pressured the Eurogroup to agree to Greece’s bailout review.

The French played a mediating role for the need to develop growth policies, so that the Greek economy can start warming its engines.

The IMF’s stance was also very productive. It pushed for further clarification of mid-term debt relief measures and the lowering of primary surpluses of around 2 percent for the post-2018 period, admitting that the Greek government has delivered its part of the deal, and pointing out that it is time for the creditors to do their part to emphasize growth policies and debt restructuring.

Turning the page

The outcome of the last Eurogroup leaves a positive footprint, setting the basis for the Greek economy to exit the vicious circle of austerity and debt.

Furthermore, the Greek government now has more time to focus on improving macroeconomic indicators, such as unemployment, and advance its reform agenda on major policy areas, such as education, healthcare, public administration, social cohesion, the re-institution of labour rights and normalisation of the labour market.

To that end, the Greek government, since 2016, has already returned to growth. It can use part of its primary surplus to finance actions that will further support vulnerable social groups and re-balance the fiscal policy mix.

Since the summer of 2015, the efforts of the Greek government and society have yielded results. The positive step that has been made in the Eurogroup necessitates prudence and hard work. The foundations for Greece to “turn the page” and overcome an unprecedented social and economic downfall have been created.

Dimitris Papadimoulis is a vice president of the European Parliament and head of the Syriza party delegation.

Greece looking at bond market return

Greece could issue 3-year bonds as early as this week, for the first time in three years, amid mixed signs from its creditors and rating agencies.

Column / Brexit Briefing

The return of the chlorinated chicken

Britain has only just started on the path towards a post-Brexit trade deal with the US, but you can already see the same all-too-familiar disagreements.

Stop blaming Trump for Poland’s democratic crisis

If you were to judge events purely on the US media's headlines, you would be forgiven for wondering if the Polish government had anything to do with its recent controversial judicial reforms.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides