EU approves Greek exit from excessive deficit procedure as economy improves

The European Union’s Economic and Financial Committee on Monday approved Greece’s exit from the excessive deficit procedure during a meeting in Brussels, following a positive recommendation by the European Commission, as the country’s economy improves and targets are being met.

The good news comes as Eurozone finances ministers have concluded that the economic situation in Greece is improving and that the target for a primary surplus of 1.75% is feasible, as bank deposits are returning and growth this year could exceed 1.8%

Concerning the third program review, the technical teams are expected to return to Athens next week and the heads of the institutions in mid-October.

The third review will include 95 prior actions, most of which concern the implementation of reforms that have already been voted on. At the same time, the EWG is waiting for the Greek court ruling on the employees of the country’s privatisation agency and the former head of ELSTAT, Andreas Georgiou.

According to sources  the Eurogroup Working GroupEurogrp is also expecting Greece to send some additional information concerning the clearing of state arrears towards private individuals before it disburses the next 800-million-euro loan tranche. After this data is examined, the European Stability Mechanism will approve the disbursement.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Alternate Minister Giorgos Chouliarakis will meet on Wednesday with EU Commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Pierre Moscovici. According to EU sources, the two sides will set the priorities of the next review and to “prepare the ground for Greece’s successful exit from the program in less than a year from today.”