Saturday August 20 marked the official end of ‘enhanced surveillance’ of Greece by European Union creditors, meaning they will no longer carry out quarterly audits of the country’s finances to approve government payments. debt relief.
The European Commission announced the development earlier in the week on the basis that “Greece has fulfilled the essential political commitments” made to eurozone partners.
But the country, like other bailed-out EU members, will still be watched, until the repayment of the last loans is not expected to happen for two generations.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed the official exit from fiscal surveillance as a “historic day for Greece and for all Greeks” which he said marked a new horizon of “development, unity and prosperity for all”. “.
Mitsotakis referred to the hardships endured by the Greek people due to heavy taxation and wage and pension cuts, as well as a number of societal ‘wounds’ including ‘fanaticism, fires, violence’ , “the blind weakening of institutions” and “the poison of the Golden Dawn.
He also blamed “political mismanagement that prevented a faster exit from the surveillance of our international partners”.
“Four years of demagogy followed, which cost our nation 100 billion euros and pushed the country to the precipice,” Mr Mitsotakis said of the time when the main opposition party SYRIZA was in power between 2015 and 2019.
In response, SYRIZA spokesperson Nassos Iliopoulos said Mitsotakis was celebrating “something that was decided a year before his election”, citing indicators including “37 billion euros in public coffers”, ” 12 consecutive quarters of growth”, and a 10% drop in unemployment when SYRIZA left power in 2019.
In a statement, Iliopoulos said Mitsotakis had “represented the forces that led to Greece’s bankruptcy” and supported “the most extreme lenders who called for exemplary punishment of the Greek people.”
On the occasion of the end of the “enhanced surveillance” program, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel tweeted congratulatory messages to the Greek people for their efforts:
“Thanks to the determination and resilience of Greece and its people, the country can close this chapter and look to the future with confidence. The EU will always stand by your side,” von der Leyen said.