The fiscal targets in Greece were also achieved through higher cuts in public investment, the European Stability Mechanism points out in its Annual Report shortly before the Eurogroup meeting.
After the European Commission’s Compliance Report, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Annual Report for 2017, which was published Thursday morning at the Annual Executive Meeting ESM Managers in Luxembourg, also urged Greece to immediately implement the necessary measures for the reduction of pensions and the lowering of the tax-free threshold sending a clear message to the embattled country.
From the ESM Annual Report:
Greece returned to financial markets in 2017, supported
by economic growth and successful reform
implementation under the second and third reviews
of the ESM programme. Despite strengthened market
confidence, the Greek economy faces a difficult
economic and financial environment. Greece
must address remaining challenges before the programme
concludes to ensure that it can build upon
its significant programme achievements in the post programme
In 2017, Greece made substantial progress in implementing
reforms under the ESM programme, which
aims at restoring fiscal sustainability, safeguarding
financial stability, boosting growth, competitiveness,
and investment, as well as fostering a modern state
and public administration. The government also continued
clearing arrears using ESM funds and its own
resources, and thereby provided direct support to the
real economy. The officially recorded stock of arrears,
including tax refunds, stood at €3.3 billion at the end
of 2017, the lowest level since December 2014.
Read the full ESM Annual Report for Greece here