The debt controls placed on Greece during the financial crisis came to an end last year. But, with doubts over whether the economy will ever fully recover, the Greek Prime Minister has announced that the country could soon need to claim new EU aid.
The eight year bailout programme ended in August 2018, but many citizens have been hit hard by the crisis, making it even more important for focus to be placed on growth. In a referendum, voters in Greece supported the EU bailout instead of the alternative of leaving the eurozone. This led to years of intense austerity measures, which was achieved through high taxes and spending cuts.
There are, however, concerns over the sustainability of the economy. Investors and analysts have admitted that they’re still concerned about the recovery, despite there being some positive signs in the last three years – including lower unemployment and incentives designed to boost growth.
Former politician, Kostas Simitis, said in an interview at the end of last year that Greece could seek further help from the EU. He said: “In the European Union, it is certain that after 2018, Greece will quickly seek lending from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) The inevitable consequence would be the imposition of new conditions on the economic policy of the Greek government.”
According to the EU, the position that Greece is in is now stable, and the eurozone has been “secured”. A spokesperson from the Commission noted: “We don’t comment on comments. Greece successfully concluded the three-year stability support programme last August with its place at the heart of the euro area and the European Union secured.”
It was also noted that, in a recent report carried out by the Commission, there needs to be “strengthened supervision” for the Greek economy. Targets are in place of 3.5% GDP. Although there’s no official news of more funding, and the EU has ruled it out, certain Greek politicians have claimed that it could be the only answer moving forward.
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