the EU’s financial monitoring of Greece will expire, following the bailouts received by the country between 2010 and 2018.
The decision was motivated by a June 16th report from the Eurogroup, which consists primarily of the finance ministers from the 27 EU member states. In its report, the Eurogroup explained that Greece had made reforms or “specific commitments” regarding the management of its public finances. This included a property-tax reform and the expansion of the base for the income tax.
The Greek government is also expected to complete reforms “by the autumn of this year” in a number of sectors, including the financial system, the justice system, and primary health care. Another expected reform concerns cadaster, i.e., a detailed surveillance of all real estate property in the country. The purpose is to secure accuracy in property-tax assessments and collections.
In 2017, the Eurogroup reported its satisfaction with “an income tax reform broadening the tax base and a pension reform.”
Greece was hit harder than any other European country by the Great Recession in 2009-2011. A series of austerity programs, aimed at eliminating the government’s budget deficit, over the course of several years led to sharply higher taxes and significant reductions in benefits and services provided by government.
Partly as a result of the austerity programs, in 2009-2014 gross domestic product, GDP, fell by one quarter. In real terms, the Greek population has not improved its standard of living over the past 20 years.