07262017

Oversight of Greek spending to be lifted

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Reuters

Special oversight of Greek government spending should be lifted, the European Commission has recommended.

The EU imposed disciplinary measures against Greece when its deficit ballooned after the financial crisis.

Years of austerity have seen the country repair its finances and last year it posted a small budget surplus.

The European Commissioner for economic affairs, Pierre Moscovici, said it was a “very symbolic moment” for Greece.

Member states still need to approve the ending of the so-called excessive deficit procedure.

Greece is likely to be in deficit again in 2017, but it will be comfortably within the EU limit of 3% of GDP.

Although the government’s finances have improved, Greece still has huge debts and many economists question whether the country will ever be able to pay them off.

The years of austerity have hurt the economy and contributed to an unemployment rate of 21.7% – the highest among European Union member states.

The Greek economy is expected to grow by 2.1% this year, above the eurozone average. If the restrictions are lifted, the country will be able to resume selling government debt, or bonds.

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