Greece, euro zone today celebrates 8-year salvation – Observer

Greece will leave its third aid program on a historic date for the country and the euro zone, which turns the page to eight years of redemption. The European country, most affected by the economic and financial crisis, was the first and last to seek financial aid – and the only "recidivism" – and the conclusion of its third program also marks the end of the cycle of repayments to euro countries that started in 2010, and also included Portugal (2011-2014), Ireland, Spain and Cyprus.

On Saturday, the Director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Klaus Regling, welcomed the restoration of the autonomy of Greece, after the last rescue program, pointing out that the country will be "a success story". On Monday, Mario Centeno, as president of the Eurogroup, welcomed the end of the financial aid period and welcomed the Greeks, returning to what he calls "normality".

For a long time there would have been nothing to suggest that Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Cyprus would be success stories. I always refer to these countries as our four success stories. Now I can include Greece in this group, "after the agreed reforms, Klaus Regling told the Greek newspaper News247 at the time." Klaus Regling also recalled the importance of continuing Greece's reforms and fulfilling the commitments entered into with the creditor institutions. .

In early July, the Portuguese Minister of Finance and Eurogroup President Mário Centeno told the European Parliament in Strasbourg a few days after the eurozone finance ministers decided to close the third rescue plan for Greece, launched in August 2015, which is "20 August 2018 to mark on the calendar and celebrate. "

However, the history of the Greek crisis and the euro zone goes back at least until 2010, when the first extraordinary summit of EU leaders was held to discuss the "Greek problem" in the light of the revelations of the Greek authorities had the real macro -economic data of the country hidden and government deficits manipulated, which at that time were 12.5 percent, more than double the announced figure.

In May this year, after the initial reticence of Germany, the first rescue of EUR 110 billion was approved for Greece, which would mark the start of a series of rescue operations for countries in the euro zone – with one of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). – in the middle of a sovereign debt crisis, including exactly one year later, in May 2011, Portugal.

In March 2012, a second rescue plan of € 130 billion was approved for Greece, but Athens is slow to adjust its public accounts, and the deepest crisis takes place in 2015, when the Syriza of Alexis Tsipras stands in power and sees itself placed versus the creditors, the "Troika", in negotiating the closing of this second aid program, and became the confrontation between the then Greek finance ministers, Yanis Varoufakis and German, Wolfgang Schäuble.

At a time when Portugal had already completed its aid program, Brussels is now aware of the most troubled moments in its history, with a "marathon" of extraordinary summits at the level of finance ministers, but also heads of state and government, during which floated the threat of an "expulsion" of Greece from the euro zone. Finally, in August 2015, and with Varoufakis removed from the Tsipras government, an agreement is reached between Athens and its creditors for a third and final assistance program (up to a maximum of € 86 billion), which then arrives at the end. , with a "clean exit" from Greece, which will be further monitored.

In his speech to the European Parliament on 4 July, Mr Centeno, who took over the Presidency of the Eurogroup in January this year, warned the Athenian authorities that they would have to deal with 'cautious budget policies' and structural reforms, recalling that there is an "Improved post-program monitoring". These intensified vigilance-like missions every three months – does not mean, however, that Greece is in any way under program, Centeno said: "Let it be clear:" outside the program "for Greece means" outside the program, "he said. adding that "Greece should participate in the euro like any other country".

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