Hours after the European Union decided to end disciplinary procedures against Greece over its excessive deficit following improvements in the country’s fiscal position, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici told the Athens News Agency that growth has returned, jobs are being created and investors are again expressing interest.
“Greece ought to have and should continue its efforts but will also be rewarded for this which means Greece will become a stronger country in the eurozone,” he added.
Moscovici went on to add that “Greece’s partners will continue to offer assistance” with the hope that the country will have exited its bailout program by next summer and passed into the next phase, gaining from debt measures and at the same time winning over the market’s confidence.
The Commissioner said he hoped the third program review would be concluded in the fourth quarter of 2017. “There needs to be constructive cooperation between all institutions and the Greek authorities to ensure a smooth and swift conclusion of the third review, with no unnecessary drama,” he said.
On Monday, Moscovici tweeted that “Greece no longer has an excessive deficit (2017: 1.2%)! Recognition of huge efforts made by Greek people since 2009” after the EU Council said Greece had met the conditions for closing the excessive deficit procedure, confirming the country’s recovery is on the right track.
In the meantime, the Greek finance ministry said this week that revenues from direct taxes on individuals and businesses recorded a shortfall of 619 million euros, down to 7.312 billion euros against a target of 7.931 billion euros in the first eight months of the year.