Greece celebrates as a “historic day” the end of enhanced economic surveillance by Brussels

Von der Leyen says the country can “look confidently to the future” after closing a key chapter in its recent history

Greece has formally exited this Saturday from the enhanced surveillance that for years has been maintained by the European Commission to monitor the reforms adopted after the bailout plan, “a historic day” in the words of the prime minister, Kyiriakos Mitsotakis.

“The country can now look towards a new clean horizon, one of development, unity and prosperity for all,” said Mitsotakis, in a video symbolizing the end of twelve years that, as the prime minister acknowledged, has brought with it tough compromises.

He has pointed out that there has also been “pain” in these twelve years, the result of a battery of obligations that included “unbearable” taxes and cuts in salaries and public services, as well as the fact that Greece was relegated in Europe, reports the daily ‘Kathimerini’.

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In this sense, he has admitted that the stagnation of the economy has also been added to a greater “division” in society, critical of the measures imposed from Brussels. However, he considers that some of these “wounds” have been overcome, such as the increase in violence, the institutional weakness or the emergence of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

European aid and its conditions are still a matter of political dispute today, with Greece already practically in pre-campaign ahead of the 2023 parliamentary elections. Mitsotakis has claimed that, after the bailout, came “four years of demagogy” that “pushed the country to the precipice,” alluding to the SYRIZA administration.

The leader of this party and former prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has recalled that it was precisely during his term, in 2018, that Greece put an end to the bailout, in the face of the “lies” that he has attributed to the ruling New Democracy.

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The European Commission announced on August 10 that it would not extend the enhanced surveillance of the reforms linked to the bailout, after assessing that Greece has fulfilled most of the commitments and that, by extension, it has decreased the risks for the eurozone as a whole.

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said on Twitter that “thanks to the determination and resilience of Greece and its citizenry, the country can close this chapter and look with confidence to the future.” “The EU will always be by your side,” she added.

The president of the Eurogroup, Irish minister Paschal Donohoe, has applauded Greece’s progress towards “economic normality” and considered the end of the surveillance as “a great achievement for the Greek government and citizens.”

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