Greek unemployment rate at 12.1% in June

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Greek unemployment rate eased to 12.1% of the workforce in June, from 12.5% in May and 15% in June 2021, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Wednesday.

More specifically, the statistics service said that the number of unemployed people totaled 572,109, down 18.6% from June 2021 and down 2.9% compared with May 2022. The unemployment rate among women was 15.9% (19% in 2021) and among men 9% (11.8%).

The unemployment rate in the 15-24 age group eased to 27.4% in June from 31.7% in June 2021 and in the 25-74 age group it fell to 11.3% from 14.1%. The number of employed people totaled 4,148,431, up 3.9% from June 2021.

The European Commission will not prolong the enhanced surveillance of Greece once it expires on 20 August, it said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Commission said that "following exchanges with the Greek authorities, including at the Eurogroup meeting of June 16, the Commission acknowledges that Greece has delivered on the bulk of the policy commitments made to the Eurogroup upon its exit from the economic adjustment programme in June 2018, and that it has achieved effective reform implementation, even under the challenging circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic and, more recently, by Russia's military aggression against Ukraine."

It also noted that because of Greece's efforts, "the resilience of the Greek economy has substantially improved and the risks of spill-over effects on the Euro area economy have diminished significantly. Hence, maintaining Greece under enhanced surveillance is no longer justified."

The European Commission added that the monitoring of the country's economic, fiscal and financial situation will continue in the context of the post-programme surveillance (PPS) and the European Semester.

The monitoring of the outstanding reform commitments will be undertaken in the context of the first PPS report to be issued in November 2022, which could serve as a basis for a Eurogroup decision on the final tranche of debt relief measures agreed in June 2018.

Major reforms and investments are also foreseen in the Greek recovery and resilience plan. The Commission welcomes Greece's achievements and its commitment to keep on carrying out reforms beyond the end of enhanced surveillance.

Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis, and Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, have already informed the Greek authorities, and their letter to Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras as well as his response have been published online.

The measures to be taken for the last quarter of the year are listed and quantified, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Friday in an interview with Skai TV.

"We have before us", he added, "the abolition of the solidarity levy (in 2023 for civil servants and pensioners, costing 450 million euros), the heating allowance, etc."

"According to data there will be fiscal space in September, which was created in July-August period," Staikouras underlined.

However, he pointed out that the large excess in July revenues does not mean that everything is permanent.

"So, we are expecting the ELSTAT figures for the GDP of the second quarter, the course of revenues and tourist receipts," he said adding that there is also uncertainty over natural gas and fuel prices. "Everything will depend on the picture of the real economy in September," he concluded.

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