The European Commission acknowledges the direct and correct intervention by the Greek government, from the beginning of the pandemic, to deal with the challenges, and welcomes the promotion of reforms and the implementation of structural changes despite adverse conditions, Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Wednesday, commenting on the release of the 9th enhanced surveillance report on Greece.
In a statement, Staikouras said the report “ confirmed the efficiency of support measures for households and enterprises” worth 23.6 billion euros in 2020, of which 15.3 billion were fiscal interventions, to be followed by support measures worth 11.6 billion euros in 2021 exceeding an initial budget estimate of 7.5 billion euros.
The FinMin noted it was the 6th consecutive positive assessment report by the institutions during the New Democracy governance and the fourth successfully completed amid the turbulence created on global scale by the coronavirus pandemic. “ This is the fruit of hard and systematic work and the excellent cooperation of government members under the guidance of the Prime Minister,” Staikouras said.
He stressed that support measures were moving towards the right direction as shown by unemployment data and boosting liquidity for enteprirses. Also, the report welcomes the promotion of reforms and the implementation of structural changes despite the prevailing adverse conditions, in sectors such as privatizations, education, energy policy, civil administration and the accounting framework of the general government, including public investments.
It also welcomes progress made in the “ Hercules” programme to reduce non-performing loans and government plans for its expansion. It confirms progress made in submitting a National Plan for the exploitation of funds from the Recovery Fund through implementing reforms and investments that will give a significant boost to the country’s growth. The report has not taken into account the positive impact of these funds. Staikouras added that the report noted the preservation of cash reserves to safe levels, a result of a prudent and inisightful use of funds and the historic-low borrowing costs of the Greek state. The European Commission report also praised the government’s intention to repay in advance part of the remaining loan received from the International Monetary Fund.
“ As Finance minister, I am particularly satisfied that our effort is acknowledged by European institutions. In any case, the government is fully conscious of the difficulties, uncertainty and challenges lying ahead. With hard work, faith in our powers, adherence to our reform plans and supporting households and enterprises, we lay the foundations to overcome the current ordeal and to achieve, high, sustainable, smart and growth without social exclusions,” Staikouras said.