Eurogroup: focus on Greece and economic resilience
Greece’s Minister for Finance, Euclid Tsakalotos, and the institutions (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund) briefed the Eurogroup on the state of play of Greece’s ongoing economic adjustment programme.
They presented the expected timeline of the recently started third review of the programme. Greece will be required to complete some 95 actions, many of which concern the implementation of legislation that was adopted earlier during the programme.
Topics that will be covered in the third review include Greece’s budget for 2018, the review of social benefits, labour market reform, public administration-related matters, implementation of strategy for non-performing loans, energysector reform, and privatisation.
Economic resilience in the EMU
Ministers exchanged views on how to increase economic resilience in the Economic and Monetary Union.
They identified a number of policy areas, where improvements could lead to increased economic resilience. These include the need for the diversification of the economy, the flexibility of labour and product markets, taxation incentives for investment, quality of institutions, and other areas.
This initial discussion will guide the Eurogroup’s more concrete thematic discussions on growth and jobs in the future.
Economic resilience refers to a country’s ability to prevent and address economic shocks. It is particularly important for the euro area, where countries share a single currency and are highly interdependent, and where a lack of economic resilience in one country may rapidly lead to serious consequences in other euro area economies.