As of Saturday, Greece has exited from the European Union’s so-called enhanced surveillance framework for its economy, ending 12 years of pain and allowing the country to have greater freedom in policy-making, its prime-minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
“Today marks the end of bailouts and all that followed in their name – unbearable taxes, pension and wage cuts, bank controls, the mortgaging of our national wealth, the degrading of our defence, education and health systems, as well as the isolation of Greece in Europe and the world. All of that is now in the past,” Mitsotakis said in a televised statement.
Greece’s economic performance and policies have been closely monitored under the framework since 2018 to ensure the Mediterranean country implemented reforms promised under three international bailouts – totalling more than €260 billion – from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund between 2010 and 2015.
EU officials had confirmed Saturday’s exit earlier in August, saying Athens had delivered on the bulk of its commitments.
Greece was hit with waves of pension cuts, spending constraint, tax increases and bank controls after it was forced to seek its first bailout in 2010. The economy shrank 25% during the bailouts, and public anger altered the balance of politics, bringing the far-left Syriza party to power in 2015.
The surveillance framework was intended to ensure the continued adoption of measures to tackle potential sources of economic difficulty and structural reforms to support sustainable economic growth.
Since exiting the last bailout in 2018, the country has relied solely on the markets for its financing needs.
🇬🇷 Today marks the last day of the enhanced economic surveillance of Greece.
Thanks to the determination and resilience of Greece and its people, the country can close this chapter, and look to the future with confidence.
The EU will always stand by your side. pic.twitter.com/hDnFd9dqB5
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 20, 2022