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Greece 'turning a page' as it exits enhanced surveillance programme 12 years after bailout

Greek Prime Ministers Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, and Finance Minister Christos Staikouras in Athens, July 10, 2019.
Greek Prime Ministers Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, and Finance Minister Christos Staikouras in Athens, July 10, 2019. Copyright AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
Copyright AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
By Euronews
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It comes 12 years after requiring an international bailout.


Greece will be "turning a page in its modern history" as the European Commission confirmed on Wednesday that the country will exit its enhanced surveillance programme this month.

It comes 12 years after requiring an international bailout.

Greece received more than €260 billion from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) between 2010 and 2015 to prevent the total collapse of the country's economy and the risk of contagion to other eurozone countries.

But this money came with strings attached and Athens was required to undertake large economic reforms.

It officially ended its third bailout agreement with the EU in 2018 and entered into the enhanced surveillance framework so EU authorities could continue to monitor reform progress.

In a letter to the Greek government dated 2 August but released on Wednesday, Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Paolo Gentiloni said that Greece has delivered "on the bulk of the policy commitments" made since it exited its bailout and "achieved effective reform implementation, even under the challenging circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic and, more recently, by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine."

"As a result, the resilience of the Greek economy has substantially improved and the risks of spill-over effects on other euro area Member States have reduced significantly. Hence maintaining Greece under enhanced surveillance is no longer justified," they added

Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras took to Twitter to say that 20 August would mark "the achievement of a major national goal" and praised "the sacrifices of the Greek people" as well as the government's "prudent economic and reform-oriented policy".

In his reply to Dombrovskis and Gentiloni, Staikouras said that the reforms implemented over the past three years in areas including fiscal and fiscal-structural policies, social welfare, financial stability, labour and product markets, privatizations, and public administration have "put in place a solid platform for Greece to achieve sustainable and inclusive long-term growth."

Despite the "global shocks of extraordinary nature", these reforms, he went on, have allowed the country to return "to a normal financial situation, thereby turning a page in its modern history."

"We are determined to continue along this path for the benefit of all our citizens and future generations, as well as the stability and prosperity of our union," he added.

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