The European Commission on Monday welcomed a Council decision to close the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) for Greece, adopted at a meeting of the General Affairs Council.
In an announcement, released here, the EU’s executive said that this decision follows the Commission’s recommendation to close the EDP in July. The Commission made this recommendation on the basis of the substantial efforts undertaken by Greece to consolidate its public finances coupled with the progress made in the implementation of its ESM stability support programme. “The general government balance has improved from a deficit of 15.1 pct in 2009 to a surplus of 0.7 pct in 2016. This is well below the 3 pct threshold set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. According to the Spring 2017 Economic Forecast, the positive fiscal performance of Greece is expected to be durable, with the deficit projected to remain below 3 pct over the forecast horizon. This progress is in addition to the substantial and wide-ranging structural reform packages that Greece has adopted as part of its commitments under the Greek stability support programme, reforms that are being implemented,” the Commission said.
The European Commission stressed that following today’s Council decision, only three member states now remain under the corrective arm of the Stability and Growth Pact (France, Spain and the United Kingdom), down from 24 countries during the financial crisis in 2011.