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Greece Exits Enhanced Surveillance Status After 12 Years

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Greece exits enhanced surveillance status after twelve years. Credit: AMNA

A letter from EU officials has confirmed Greece’s exit from the enhanced surveillance status on August 21st after 12 years of strict post-bailout monitoring.

“August 20 marks the achievement of a major national goal for Greece, the ending of EU’s enhanced surveillance framework, thanks to the sacrifices of the Greek people, the prudent economic and reform-oriented policy consistently implemented by the government,” Finance Minister Christos Staikouras posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

Greece has been in enhanced surveillance status since 2018, when its third bailout program ended.

Multiple benefits of exit from enhanced surveillance

In an official statement shared by the Greek Ministry of Finance, Staikouras added that the exit confirmation letter, signed by the executive vice-president of the European Commission Vladis Dobrovskis and the Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, affirms that Greece has fulfilled the main volume of policy commitments to the Eurogroup and efficiently implemented reforms—despite the adverse conditions created by the health and, more recently, the geopolitical crisis—and, thus, significantly strengthened the resilience of its economy.

“This development, combined with an early repayment of IMF loans and the full withdrawal of capital controls, ends a difficult chapter for our country, after 12 years,” he pointed out. “Greece returns to European normalcy and is no longer an exception in the Eurozone.”

Commenting on the “multiple benefits” of the exit from the enhanced surveillance status, Minister Staikouras said it would strengthen the position of Greece in the international markets and provide an additional boost to its growth potential and investment attraction.

It will also offer the Greek state more freedom in the exercise of economic policy within the framework of the existing rules that apply to all European member states and brings closer the achievement of the final goal, which is the recovery the country’s investment grade.

Greece will still be monitored by the EU institutions until 2059 when the country is expected to repay 75 percent of the loans it received under the memoranda.

This will be done through a simple post-program monitoring phase, as is the case for Ireland, Spain, Cyprus, and Portugal, and a biannual evaluation—rather than the quarterly evaluations it had to go through thus far.

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