Today marks one year since Greece successfully concluded its European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme. The 3-year stability support programme took a coordinated approach to tackling long-standing and deep-rooted structural issues that contributed to Greece experiencing an economic crisis and losing access to financial markets.
In total, Greece’s European partners provided €61.9 billion in loans in return for the Greek authorities implementing a comprehensive reform package. When taken together, these reforms have laid the foundations for an economic recovery, putting in place the fundamental conditions needed for sustained growth, job creation and sound public finances.
Indicators confirm that, while work remains to be done, the efforts undertaken are delivering tangible benefits. For instance, the unemployment rate fell to 17.6% in April 2019. Although this is still an unacceptably high rate, it is the first time this indicator has fallen below 18% since July 2011 and is down from a peak of 27.9% in July 2013.
It remains crucial that the Greek authorities continue to focus on fully addressing the social and economic consequences of the crisis years. Greece can count on the European Commission’s support in this effort.
The country is now fully integrated into the European Semester and the continued delivery of agreed reforms is being monitored under the Enhanced Surveillance framework.
“One year ago Greece completed its ESM stability support programme to restore financial stability and promote growth and job creation. Greece’s economy has benefited from reforms and the boost in confidence. The growth is steady, unemployment is going down and public finances have improved. It is important to build on these achievements by continuing on the path of responsible fiscal policies and structural reforms, including those aimed at strengthening the Greek financial sector,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, who is also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.
“Greece has come a long way since completing its stability support programme a year ago. Economic data is showing positive signs, indicating efforts will continue to bear fruit for a society that has seen a lot of hardship. However, challenges remain and willingness to engage, actively, in the process of reform completion – and to work closely with European partners – will be essential to supporting stability, growth, job creation, and a better social welfare system in the months and years to come. It is important that all public and private actors work together to secure and sustain a better future for the Greek people. The European Commission will remain by Greece’s side and support its central role as a member of the European Union and euro area,” added Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs.