Moscovici: Downward revision of Greek forecasts due to weak growth in Q4 2017

The downward revision of growth rate forecasts for Greece in 2018 and 2019 are due to the Greek economy’s weak growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday, while stressing that the recovery in Greece is expected to continue in a more dynamic way within the framework and completion of the programme.

Asked about the Commission’s spring forecasts for Greece, during a press conference in Brussels, Moscovici said the forecast for growth was 1.9 pct of GDP for 2018 and 2.3 pct in 2019, compared with the forecast for 2.5 pct last winter.

“This is due to the impact of 0.1 pct growth in the Greek economy in the last quarter of 2017,” the French Commissioner said, noting that investment will continue in a “dynamic way” and will be further supported by improvements in the business environment and the continuation of privatisations.

Regarding the programme, Moscovici said the Greek programme is “well on track” for completion at the Eurogroup in Luxembourg on June 21. “The parameters are known,” he noted, referring to the completion of the review, which depends on the “efforts” of the Greek authorities, on the Greek government’s growth strategy, which has a “good and strong basis” but “can always be improved”, and on designing the” appropriate post-programme “mechanism”.

With respect to debt relief for Greece, Moscovici said that this is due to be discussed in the “next few weeks”, while clarifying that there is no link between the forecasts and the completion of the programme. “I am convinced that we will succeed, but everyone – and I mean everyone – has to assume their responsibilities,” concluded the Commissioner.