Greece set to leave EU deficit blacklist
The EU recommended yesterday that three times bailed-out Greece has made enough progress in balancing its budget to be removed from special oversight of government spending. The move is a further boost for Athens days after it secured a fresh tranche of cash from its latest bailout to meet crucial debt payments and avoid a fresh crisis. The decision showed the progress Greece has made, said European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis, who has special responsibility for the eurozone.
“I invite Greece to build on its achievements and continue to strengthen confidence in its economy,” Dombrovskis said, adding that it was “important for a return to the markets.” EU rules require member states to run a budget deficit-the shortfall between government revenue and spending-of not more than 3.0 percent of total annual economic output. The lifting of the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) for Greece will allow the government greater leeway in managing its finances after years of austerity and spending cuts demanded by Brussels to bring the budget deficit under control.
“This follows the substantial efforts in recent years made by the country to consolidate its public finances coupled with the progress made” in its debt rescue programs, the European Commission said in a statement. The Commission noted that if member states approve its recommendation later this year, only three countries will remain under the excessive deficit procedureFrance, Spain and Britain. —AFP