Bild praises Greece: "The blue and white miracle"

Bild Kyriakos Mitsotakis

A laudatory article about Greece's dynamic recovery after the debt crisis of the last decade was published by the once highly critical German newspaper Bild, with the title "The Greek blue and white miracle" and hosting an interview with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Bild talks about 2010, which, as it says, "'Greece was the problem child of the Eurozone'. And now, 'We are back' declares Kyriakos Mitsotakis."

"Greece is now a dynamic outbound destination for investors, with a strong voice at the heart of the EU and an economy experiencing an unprecedented renaissance," the article adds.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis refers to the positive economic performance.

"The reforms allowed us to turn our backs on populism and the past crises, helped us protect social cohesion and strengthen our democratic institutions. And despite global headwinds, the Greek economy continues outperforming the Eurozone economy," he said.

"Since 2019, Greece has had the fastest reduction in debt- to-GDP of any other EU country," Mitsotakis said, adding: "Our fiscal deficit is expected to be among the smallest among industrialised countries this year and next, unemployment continues to decline, and foreign direct investment contributes to strong and stable growth.'

"We have reversed the climate. Greece is no longer the problem but part of the solution. We are the positive story of the eurozone", he emphasised.

"For a blue-and-white Christmas miracle," says Bild

In fact, the newspaper points out that the Greeks "give Europe a blue and white Christmas miracle."

The article states that nowhere else in Europe has such a large debt been paid off in recent years as in Greece, even though the Greek debt was large. Compared to 2020, the debt ratio fell by around 35 percentage points to 171% of GDP.

At the same time, the Greek budget deficit will be smaller than Germany's in 2023 and 2024. In 2021, Greece "recorded unprecedented economic growth of 8.4% (Germany 2.6%), while in 2022, it continued at 5.9% (Germany 1.9%).

The German newspaper also makes a special mention of the investment level. "The major rating agencies Fitch and S&P have again raised Greece's credit rating after years of de facto creditworthiness," he points out.

The indicators are also positive for unemployment, which decreased to 9.6% in October, while ten years ago, it was 28%.

The problems that remain

The German newspaper, however, refers to the many economic and social problems that exist in the country.

He says tax evasion remains a popular sport and one of the biggest problems even today. The head of the central bank, Giannis Stournaras, estimates the amount of tax evaded at 60 billion euros - equivalent to half of government spending.

Greece has established strict rules to limit tax evasion: Cash transactions of more than 500 euros are prohibited. There is now the threat of high fines.

At the same time, the low purchasing power of the Greeks and the high prices also caused a problem.

"Greeks pay the highest prices for everyday goods and services, while at the same time they have the lowest purchasing power," he notes.

Until today, the newspaper adds, one of the most serious problems remains unsolved: tax evasion, which remains a "national sport" and accounts for half of the government spending.

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Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024