World Economy

Greece on Recovery Track

Greece on Recovery TrackGreece on Recovery Track

Greece is on course to economic recovery after reaching the end of its third bailout next month according to a key official in charge of providing financial assistance to eurozone countries with financial problems.

Klaus Regling, director of the European Stability Mechanism and its temporary predecessor the European Financial Stability Facility during the height of the financial crisis, was interviewed in German newspaper Handelsblatt, reported.

He was quoted on Wednesday as criticizing the Greek government and its former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis for having “embarked on a wrong path for six months, costing the Greeks billions” in 2015.

Things improved only after the government agreed to a new austerity program and painful structural reforms. Regling described Greece, contrary to other countries that had received financial assistance, as a “patient which had spent more than eight years in the intensive care unit”.

“Since 2016, the country whose deficit stood at 15% of economic output in 2009 is consistently at a black zero,” he said and is apparently convinced that the patient survived the cure. He did not mention that employment is still around 20%, youth unemployment above 40% and the national debt an unsustainable 180% of GDP.

Kathimerini reported in 2016 that a Bank of Greece report showed that nearly half a million Greeks have left the country in search of better opportunities abroad since 2008 due to the financial crisis, with educated professionals among those leading the exodus. The brain drain has continued, making a recovery in Greece even harder.


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