Eurozone finance ministers heard that Greece has “progressed very well” with reforms, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said on Monday night, following a meeting of the Eurogroup that was briefed on the conclusions of the ninth enhanced surveillance report by the country’s creditors.
“Greece progressed well in particular in the areas of education, corporate governance, privatization and energy policy,” Gentiloni said.
The European official also noted a slowdown in the country’s reform momentum, but stressed that it is being attributed to the “challenging circumstances” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gentiloni added that “detailed roadmaps” have been agreed with the Greek authorities on the new insolvency code that is expected to go into force on June 1, the payment of arrears, simplifying the licensing of investments, modernizing the labor code and much-awaited justice reform.
Greece’s “good progress” was also noted by Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe, who added that Finance Minister Christos Staikouras made “a very thorough and comprehensive presentation on all of the work that he is leading on behalf of the Greek people and our colleagues in the Commission.”
Commenting on the main purpose of the Eurogroup meeting, Donohoe said that the eurozone’s finance ministers agreed to “keep a budgetary stance in 2021 and in 2022, which will be supportive and which will pave the way for recovery.”
“We are united, and we are determined in our efforts to protect jobs, to protect businesses and to protect our citizens in this very acute phase of a continued health crisis. We all share the view that this is the best contribution that we can make to longer-term fiscal sustainability at this point,” he said.