Την ικανοποίηση τους για την απόφαση του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου για το Ταμείο Ανάκαμψης μετά από τις μαραθώνιες διαβουλεύσεις εξέφρασαν στη διάρκεια διαδικτυακής εκδήλωσης του ΙΟΒΕ και του Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Greece & Cyprus ο υπουργός Οικονομικών Χρήστος Σταϊκούρας, ο αντιπρόεδρος της Ευρωπαϊκής Κεντρικής Τράπεζας Luis de Guindos και ο διοικητής της Τράπεζας της Ελλάδος Γιάννης Στουρνάρας.
Στη συζήτηση με θέμα «Η ελληνική οικονομία και το ευρωπαϊκό περιβάλλον: (νέα) κρίση και ευκαιρίες» που συντόνισε ο γενικός διευθυντής του ΙΟΒΕ καθηγητής Νίκος Βέττας και οι τρεις ομιλητές τόνισαν το συμβολικό αλλά και ουσιαστικό αποτέλεσμα των διαπραγματεύσεων για τη διαχείριση της κρίσης της πανδημίας, επισημαίνοντας ότι μετά και την συγκεκριμένη απόφαση μαζί με τις υπόλοιπες πρωτοβουλίες που έχουν ανακοινωθεί το ποσό που θα εισρεύσει στις οικονομίες της ΕΕ ξεπερνά 1,3 τρισ ευρώ.
Ειδικότερα, ο Χρήστος Σταϊκούρας ανέφερε η απόφαση για το Ταμείο Ανάκαμψης αποτελεί μια από τις πιο ελπιδοφόρες και φιλόδοξες αποφάσεις της ΕΕ, τονίζοντας ότι η Ελλάδα είναι έτοιμη για την καλύτερη δυνατή χρήση των πόρων του Ταμείου και την προώθηση ενός σχεδίου μεταρρυθμίσεων. Πριν από την πανδημία η ελληνική οικονομία είχε μια ισχυρή ανάπτυξη που ανακόπηκε. Με την έκρηξη της πανδημίας η κυβέρνηση έλαβε μια σειρά από τεκμηριωμένα για την στήριξη της κοινωνίας και οικονομίας ενώ παράλληλα προωθούνται μια σειρά από σημαντικά μέτρα και έχουν δρομολογηθεί μια σειρά από διαδικασίες για τη διαχείριση των κόκκινων δανείων, την προώθηση επενδύσεων και ιδιωτικοποιήσεων, πρόσθεσε.
Δείτε το Video της διαδικτυακής εκδήλωσης του ΙΟΒΕ:
IOBE – KAS
“Trends in the European Economy and the prospects for Greece in a post Covid-19 world”
Christos Staikouras – Minister of Finance
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I think we have a sunny day for Europe and for Greece.
But let me start by thanking the organizers – IOBE and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Greece and Cyprus – for their kind invitation and their initiative to hold this thought-provoking e-Discussion.
It’s a great pleasure to share the floor with good friends and colleagues like Luis and Yiannis. This pleasure becomes even greater, since this discussion takes place just a few hours after the positive, bold, ambitious EU Summit’s decision on the Recovery Fund.
Before elaborating more on this, I have to underline that Europe’s response – as Luis mentioned before – to this unprecedented, exogenous and symmetric crisis, has been prompt and dynamic, in contrast with the financial crisis a decade ago. Important decisions were taken and both fiscal and liquidity boosting measures were activated. Just to pick up some of them:
- Fiscal rules, targets and requirements were lifted.
- The framework for state aid and public procurement became more flexible.
- The ECB has introduced the PEPP and has adopted a package of temporary collateral easing measures.
- Europe activated a “safety net” for states, employees and businesses, through:
- the ESM Pandemic Crisis Support,
- the SURE program to subsidize employment and
- the pan-European EIB guarantee fund to strengthen business liquidity.
And finally, after the agreement reached in the EU Summit marathon, the Recovery Fund is added to our “armoury”.
It is true that this agreement is the fruit of compromise. We all know that Europe makes its way step-by-step, through compromises. However the final decision is ambitious, flexible, realistic, rational, fair and in line with the challenges we are facing. It is mainly based on grants rather than loans, it gives every member-state opportunity to draw its national strategy, it includes common borrowing and it emphasizes on sectors that are important for Europe’s future, such as digital transformation and green development.
If we add the total amount that was decided today with the decisions taken a couple of months ago regarding the “safety net” for states, employees and businesses, they amount to 1.3 trillion euro, more than MFF for the period 2021-2027.
The Greek Government stands ready to make the best use of the Recovery Fund and is already working swiftly and efficiently on the continuous implementation of its national reform agenda, even under the difficult circumstances created by the coronavirus, and on the completion of its Growth Strategy. Last week the interim report on it was presented by the Commission under Professor Pissarides, in which the moderator, Professor Vettas is the vice-president.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Greek economy had entered a sound path of growth with promising perspectives, thanks to the implementation of a different fiscal policy mix, based on the reduction of tax burden for individuals and corporations, on offering incentives for doing business and for investments, on speeding up privatizations and structural reforms which aim at boosting productivity and competitiveness. Unfortunately, this course came to an abrupt halt due to the coronavirus crisis. Thus, we were forced to open an ongoing parenthesis, which included increased spending to tackle the pandemic and the social and economic consequences of the crisis.
Greece has so far been a coronavirus success story, as confirmed by statistics concerning the expansion of the pandemic, while on the social and economic field we have taken drastic measures to support public health, employment, business liquidity and social cohesion.
These measures included fiscal measures, deferrals and liquidity measures. They were adjusted to respond to the different needs arising in every phase of the crisis. Their total value is estimated at 24 billion euro or 13% of GDP, and may increase, depending on the development of the outbreak, as well as on the available financial and fiscal space of the country.
Thus, the coronavirus challenge was swiftly, prudently and efficiently faced by the Greek Government, as acknowledged by the European Commission. This is why the Commission significantly revised its estimate for this year’s recession in Greece, from 9.7% in May to 9.0% in July, while its estimates for Europe and the Euro Area were revised to deeper recession.
Apart from all the measures taken to minimize the impact of the pandemic, we are also continuing to implement structural reforms and to promote investments, despite headwind.
- The new draft bill introducing growth-friendly tax measures just started to be discussed today in the Parliament. Among others, it includes: the expansion of Non-Dom to foreign pensioners, the rationalization of car classification fees, the non-inclusion of shares granted to employees by the company they work for in the employees’ income and the autonomous taxation of the shares’ betterment, the out-of-court settlement of pending tax disputes, the incorporation of a series of EU Directives into national Law.
- In the same bill, we also introduce “Gefyra” (i.e. “Bridge”), a new program of high importance to support borrowers affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Furthermore, other recent developments and ongoing actions in the field of structural reforms include what we have discussed in the Ecofin:
- The upcoming completion of the new Insolvency Code, with several safeguards to filter strategic defaulters, in order to tackle private debt.
- The reduction of non-performing loans on banks’ portfolios. Indeed, a systemic bank has already completed the process to participate in the Hercules scheme.
- The new bill for corporate governance and a modern capital market, which also included a series of measures boosting important privatizations such as the Hellenikon project and some Port Authorities, as well as the restructuring of state-owned enterprises and the liquidity support to businesses in the borderland.
- The new bill introducing microfinance.
- The implementation of the Asset Development Plan.
- The ongoing digital transformation of the public sector, which will serve to further ease the administrative burden for households and enterprises.
- The draft bill for electric mobility.
- Investment in infrastructure and the industrial field, focusing on green economy.
Taking advantage of all the above, completing and implementing the National Growth Strategy, and returning to a prudent fiscal policy with gradual tax reductions and, mainly, social security contributions after the crisis, we will have the potential, not only to recover, but to gain a strong, sustainable, clever and inclusive growth, which will lead to attracting important investment and creating new, high-quality jobs.
It is up to us all to turn the page.
I am convinced that we have the plan, the ability, the skills and the determination to make it!