Staff Report and Statement by the Executive Director for Greece
March 12, 2019
The economic recovery in Greece is accelerating and broadening. Growth and job creation in Greece are expected to accelerate further in 2019. Public sector financing needs remain manageable under the baseline due to strong fiscal balances, low debt servicing costs, and a large cash buffer. While access to external funding is improving, spreads remain high, and domestic credit growth remains negative. In this scenario, Greece’s capacity to repay the Fund is assessed to be adequate. However, vulnerabilities remain significant and downside risks are rising. Greece’s crisis legacies – high public debt, impaired private balance sheets – along with a still-weak payment culture make the economy vulnerable to increasing external (e.g., global slowdown, sharp tightening of financial conditions) and domestic risks (e.g., ongoing court cases challenging key reforms, and reform fatigue). If selected fiscal risks materialize, the sovereign’s repayment capacity could become challenged over the medium term.