Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Wednesday welcomed the results of the 12th assessment report in the framework of the European Commission’s enhanced surveillance report of the Greek economy and said it was another recognition of a collective and systematic effort in the economic field in an environment of continuing -globally- difficulties and challenges.
In a statement, Staikouras said the report stressed that Greek economic recovery was gaining ground despite the continuing pandemic and forecast that this dynamic course will be preserved.
“The recovery of the Greek economy is gaining traction, despite the ongoing pandemic,” the report said. Following a strong first half of the year and the better-than-expected tourist season, the Commission autumn forecast expects growth in 2021 to reach 7.1%, thus practically reaching the pre-pandemic level of economic activity. Real GDP is forecast to grow by 5.2% in 2022, it added.
According to the report, “While still very intense, the impact of the pandemic is expected to gradually diminish with the ongoing vaccination campaign. The accommodative fiscal and monetary policy, coupled with the expected strong boost from the implementation of Greece’s recovery and resilience plan, are set to sustain the momentum going forward. The labour market remains resilient, thanks also to the government support schemes which continued protecting jobs in vulnerable sectors.”
The 2022 Draft Budgetary Plan “confirmed that the existing emergency support measures are expected to be largely phased out by the end of 2021, with those that remain active in the following year being adapted to the evolving needs of the economy,” the report said, adding: “This, along with the economic rebound, is set to support the reduction of the general government deficit going ahead. The authorities successfully completed a further set of specific commitments. The European institutions welcome the close and constructive engagement in all areas and encourage the authorities to keep up the momentum and remedy the delays in particular as concerns financial sector reforms, arrears clearance, health care and justice.”
Finally, the report gave the green light for the disbursement of the 6th tranche of ANFAs and SMPs (European central banks’ profits from their portfolio in Greek bonds).