After a long and solid year of saving, Greece completes the last aid program

After a long, tight economy, Greece completes the third and final program of international creditor assistance, although officials warn that the country is still on a "long road".

In the three successive programs launched in 2010, 2012 and 2015, the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have lent Greece debt totaling 289 billion euros. euro.

The economic reforms that creditors demanded in exchange for these funds pushed the country – within eight years the gross domestic product (GDP) has dropped by a quarter and unemployment has risen above 27 percent.

But now the Greek economy has grown again, with its already large budget deficits being replaced by a large surplus, while unemployment has dropped below 20%, officials say.

"Greece can stay on its feet for the first time since the beginning of 2010. This has been made possible by the incredible efforts of the Greek people, good cooperation with the current Greek government and European partner loans and debt relief," said Mario Centeno, president of the European Steering Board (ESM).

"It took much more time than expected, but I believe we have already reached that point," he added.

Greek households, however, continue to feel the consequences of unpopular savings measures.

"The real situation on the ground is still difficult, the time of austerity is coming to an end, but the completion of the program does not mean the end of the reform process," said Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economy, at the weekend.

No withdrawal of what has been agreed

The opinion of Mr. Moscovici is shared by Yannis Stournaras, head of the Greek central bank.

"Greece is still waiting a long way," he said in an interview with the Kathimerini newspaper on Sunday.

He warned that if Greece left "now or in the future" of what we agreed, the market will abandon us and we will not be able to refinance loans that have expired under the conditions of a sustainable debt ".

The head of the Central Bank also acknowledged that "major international economic turmoil, whether it is in neighboring Italy or Turkey, or in the world economy, may be difficult for us to borrow on markets."

The Greek government estimates that its financing needs are now being provided by the end of 2022, providing an opportunity to implement its plan for return to capital markets.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who will appear on TV shows on Tuesday, said in June that when the euro area ministers agree to finalize the final aid program, Greece can focus on the social situation & # 39 ;

"Now we have the opportunity to implement targeted benefits, introduce tax cuts in 2019 and support social and social security," he said.

Although the country achieved a surplus in the budget, which, in addition to the cost of debt repayment, was around 4% in 2016 and 2017. GDP, the costs of social security remain in the hands of her hands.

Greece has already passed laws on new reforms that will be implemented in 2019 and 2020 and will be subject to supervision for a few more years.

"The stomach is not fired"

Although economic performance improves, it has no tangible impact on daily Greek life.

"The era of utilities is coming to an end, but we have not yet come out of battles and still suffocate," wrote the opposition-supporting newspaper "To Vima" on Sunday.

Professor of Economics Nikos Vettas believes it is "mandatory" to ensure "very strong growth" in the coming years. Otherwise, "families that have been severely weakened by the ten years of the recession will continue to suffer."

But Greece has already gained some confidence in the international community.

"The commitments of Greece for the future are clear, and I have no doubt that they are respected," said Luxembourg Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on the To Vima newspaper on Sunday and stressed that stepping out of the tool was "a great success. ".

The information from the BNS press agency is reproduced on mass media and on websites without the written permission of UAB BNS.

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