Greece is changing aid plans, not yet austerity

Greece is officially on Monday the third of the rigorous and unpopular aid plans under which it has been living since 2010, without being fully completed with austerity and reforms.

"For the first time since the beginning of 2010, Greece is on its feet," said Mario Centeno, chairman of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) board, who flew last Monday. program.

Mr. Centeno is the Portuguese Minister of Finance and is chairman of the Eurogroup.

He regarded the event as the result of "the extraordinary efforts of the Greek people, the good cooperation with the current Greek government and the efforts of the European partners", which provided loans and debt management.

Greece is the last country, after Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus, to develop international aid plans that prevent them from going down during the crisis and possibly leading the euro zone with them.

It has received 289 billion euros in loans from its creditors (IMF, EU and ECB) in three programs, in 2010, 2012 and 2015, in exchange for violent structural reforms that some creditors themselves now recognize as not all of them optimal. , which caused him to lose a quarter of his GDP in eight years, causing unemployment to rise to 27.5% in 2013.

"It took longer than expected, but I think we are there", Centeno said: "the Greek economy has started to grow again (with a GDP of 1.4% in 2017, Ed) there is a budget surplus (… ) and unemployment is steadily declining, while remaining at the 20% level.

"The time of austerity is over, but the end of the program is not the end of the road these reforms," ​​warned this weekend EU economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici.

– Markets –

Opinion shared by the Governor of the Bank of Greece Yannis Stournaras. "Greece still has a long way to go," he said in an interview with the daily Kathimerini on Sunday.

He worried about a possible & # 39; abandonment & # 39; of Greece through the markets as it would consider its reforms.

Due to debt developments, mainly the extension of the repayment period acquired in June with European counterparts, Greece estimates that its financing needs will be covered until the end of 2022, which will enable it to go to the markets at the right time .

But his debt is still 180% of his GDP, and the IMF considers it untenable.

The government replies that its funding needs will remain below 20% of GDP that the EU recommends. The Greek debt "is not untenable" provides a Greek official, but on the contrary "very sustainable".

According to the pro-government press, the radical left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has chosen to talk on television earlier on Tuesday, the first day of the postal program.

– Chains and suffocation –

He who has no choice since his arrival in January 2015 to govern according to the plans, even to accept further reforms in 2019 and 2020, and maintaining the country's oversight by his creditors for several years, said in June that he now wants to introduce more "social justice".

Because the improvement of the figures does not yet translate into the daily life of the Greeks.

"The aid plans are over, but neither the chains nor the suffocation," the Sunday opposition newspaper, To Vima, estimated.

Economists, such as Prof. Nikos Vettas, consider it "necessary" to generate "very strong growth", otherwise "households, which are already very weakened by ten years of recession, will continue to suffer".

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