After being under the close scrutiny of three financial assistance programmes since May 2010, Greece has finally left the bail-out in August 2018. How different is the post-bail-out era from the preceding eight years? Will Greece be able to stand on its own? And how might the country improve its economic outlook? In this post, which summarises a presentation recently given at an Athens conference, the author answers these three questions.
How different is the post-bail-out era from the preceding eight years?
While the bail-out is over, the conditionality and close scrutiny of European institutions and the IMF are not. The June 2018 Eurogroup meeting, which decided about the debt-relief measures, also issued a very detailed list of ”Specific commitments to ensure the continuity and completion of reforms adopted under the ESM programme”.
These include commitments to maintain a 3.5% primary budget surplus; to update property tax values; to increase the staff of the Independent Authority of Public Revenue; to meet various public financial management standards; to modernise the pension, health-care and social safety-net systems; to implement several reforms aimed at restoring the health of the banking system; to keep the minimum wage in line with a 2012 law; to fight undeclared work; to complete the investment licensing reform, the cadastre project, the agreed reforms in the energy sector, the privatisation strategy – which lists several companies to be privatised by specific deadlines, and the reforms to modernise human resource management in the public sector – which includes a number of specific sub-commitments; to adopt a number of specific labour laws by pre-determined deadlines; and to step up anti-corruption efforts.