22nd Mar 2018


Greek government's steady steps to exit bailout programme

  • The Greek government aims at strengthening the welfare state, reinstating labour rights and collective bargaining, lowering unemployment rate, says Dimitris Papadimoulis, a vice-president of the EU parliament (Photo: Odysseas Gp)

The Greek government is moving towards the conclusion of the bailout program and the tough financial monitoring.

It is also preparing the steps for the reform program that will be implemented in the post-memoranda period, starting from August 2018.

In February's Eurogroup Mario Senteno, Commissioner Pierre Moscovici and head of European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling reaffirmed the positive developments of the Greek economic program towards the third bailout review.

They all pointed out that a couple of technical issues should be finalised so that the disbursement of the €5.7bn tranche can be released after the scheduled Eurogroup meeting next month.

In the meantime, discussions between the Greek government and its creditors have been accelerated, referring to the preparation of a growth-oriented agenda 'made in Greece'.

This agenda should embark on the major challenges of the economy, such as the continuation of reforms and financial stability, the improvement of public administration and the creation of a business-friendly environment via a stable and concrete legal framework.

In addition to that, the Greek government aims at strengthening the welfare state, reinstating labour rights and collective bargaining, lowering unemployment rate.

These priorities will be the pillars of policy-making after August 2018, as the Greek government will have the power to design its own reform programme.

The European Commission's growth projection for 2018-19 is positive, investment climate is improving, exports are increasing, and competitiveness of the domestic economy is keep thriving, while unemployment rate is steadily falling, i.e. from 27 percent in 2014 to 20.5 percent in late 2017.

Credit upgrade

Furthermore, international credit agencies have upgraded Greece's outlook, thus inciting global investors to turn their interest on the Greek market.

The reflection of positive macroeconomic indicators in real economy takes time and necessitates more efforts. Nonetheless, Greece is on positive track and the government should keep up on its commitment to get rid of austerity.

The further decrease of unemployment and the protection of labor rights can contribute to wage increase and better living standards, boosting also the capacity and productivity of the Greek economy.

We should not forget that three years ago, when Syriza party got in power, Greece was a 'wreck', a place where numerous corruption scandals and nepotism were thriving, with extremely high rates of social inequality, vested interested taking advantage of public funds, and wide scale phenomena of anomy in most areas of public policy.

It is also very important to stress out that the long-awaited conclusion of the bailout programme does not mean that in one night we are entering the paradise.

The Greek government has to be consistent and determined in its actions, avoid mistakes of the past, improve weak policy aspects, and accelerate the implementation of reforms that have a more left-leaning and progressive political reference.

In European level, Syriza along with other progressive political forces are contributing to the debate on institutional reform in EU and Eurozone, paving the way for distancing policy-making from failed austerity policies and 'Schaueble's doctrine'.

These reforms should take a final shape, become elaborated and put on track in order to avoid another crisis similar to the one experienced back in 2008, that also led to the surge of far-right.

Although the European economy is recovering, EU leaders have not yet addressed the deep-rooted structural problems of the European establishment.

In this context, Greece's exit from memoranda gives a strong signal for the EU to move towards another political direction, deepen pro-social and sustainable policies and enhance democratic legitimacy and transparency, against the obsolete and dismantling political narrative of the populist, conservative and far-right forces.

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

Greece and creditors prepare bailout exit

Greece's creditors agreed to unblock €6.7 billion of new aid by April and to open debt-relief talks, ahead of the end of the programme in August.

A positive agreement for Greece

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

'Denial' - is meat the new climate change?

The European Parliament's agriculture committee meets on Tuesday, with speculation that the EPP will vote against a report on the EU plant protein plan if it mentions switching away from animals to plant-based diets.

Moria refugee camp is no place for people

Two years on from the highly-controversial EU-Turkey deal, many thousands of refugees are still trapped on Greek islands. One of them offers an open invitation to EU leaders to see their inhospitable conditions at the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos.

Column / Brussels Bytes

EU e-privacy proposal risks breaking 'Internet of Things'

EU policymakers need to clarify that the e-privacy should not apply to most Internet of Things devices. The current proposal require explicit user consent in all cases - which is not practical.

News in Brief

  1. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says
  2. Italy's centre-right set to share top posts with 5-star movement
  3. Brussels condemns tear gas in Kosovo parliament
  4. Finland pays billionaire €400,000 in EU farm subsidies
  5. 44 leaders sign up for Africa free trade area deal
  6. British 'blue' passports to be made in EU
  7. EU to have 'immediate' trade talks with Trump
  8. Separatist activist renounces Catalonia leadership candidacy

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. EU summit takes hard look at Russia
  2. Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing
  3. EU leaders set for 'stormy debate' on digital tax at summit
  4. EU praises Turkey on migrant deal despite Greek misery
  5. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  6. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrests Malta bank chair
  7. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  8. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressThe 2018 European Medal of Tolerance Goes to Prince Albert II of Monaco
  2. FiscalNoteGlobal Policy Trends: What to Watch in 2018
  3. Human Rights and Democracy NetworkPromoting Human Rights and Democracy in the Next Eu Multiannual Financial Framework
  4. Mission of China to the EUDigital Cooperation a Priority for China-EU Relations
  5. ECTACompetition must prevail in the quest for telecoms investment
  6. European Friends of ArmeniaTaking Stock of 30 Years of EU Policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: How Can the EU Contribute to Peace?
  7. ILGA EuropeCongratulations Finland!
  8. UNICEFCyclone Season Looms Over 720,000 Rohingya Children in Myanmar & Bangladesh
  9. European Gaming & Betting AssociationEU Court: EU Commission Correct to Issue Guidelines for Online Gambling Services
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina Hopes for More Exchanges With Nordic, Baltic Countries
  11. Macedonian Human Rights MovementCondemns Facebook for Actively Promoting Anti-Macedonian Racism
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersGlobal Seed Vault: Gene Banks Gather to Celebrate 1 Million Seed Collections