Economic and Financial Committee approves Greek exit from excessive deficit procedure

he Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) gave on Monday the “green light” for Greece’s exit from the excessive deficit procedure during a meeting in Brussels, after a positive recommendation by the European Commission, according to a Eurozone source.

According to the source, the final decision is expected to be ratified in September at the level of ambassadors (COREPER).

The Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) which met later discussed the progress made in thr implementation of the Greek program after the summer lull and ahead of the informal Eurogroup to be held on September 15 in Tallinn, Estonia.

According to Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s sources, the senior officials of the Eurozone finance ministries assessed that the economic situation in Greece is improving and that the target for a primary surplus of 1.75 percent is feasible, bank deposits are returning and growth this year could exceed 1.8 percent.

Concerning the third program review, the technical teams are expected to return to Athens next week and the heads of the institutions in mid-October.

The third review will include 95 prior actions, most of which concern the implementation of reforms that have already been voted on. At the same time, the EWG is waiting for the Greek court ruling on the employees of the country’s privatization agency and the former head of ELSTAT, Andreas Georgiou.

The same source said the EWG is also expecting Greece to send some additional information concerning the clearing of state arrears towards private individuals before it disburse the next 800-million-euro loan tranche. After this data is examined, the European Stability Mechanism will approve the disbursement.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Alternate Minister Giorgos Chouliarakis will meet on Wednesday with EU Commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Pierre Moscovici. According to EU sources, the two sides will set the priorities of the next review and to “prepare the ground for Greece’s successful exit from the program in less than a year from today.”