Staff from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank, visited Athens from 23 to 26 September for the fourth post-programme mission to Greece.  Staff from the IMF participated in the context of its Article IV surveillance cycle. Staff from the European Stability Mechanism participated in the context of its Early Warning System. The mission was prepared by technical discussions in the previous week and also served as fact-finding mission for the 2020 country report under the European Semester of economic policy coordination.
The mission held productive discussions on the situation, progress made, and key challenges still facing the Greek economy and the policy priorities of the new administration, including the state of play and next steps in the implementation of Greece’s commitment to continue and complete the key reforms launched under the stability support programme. This included discussions on the fiscal situation and outlook, which will feed into the preparation of Greece’s Draft Budgetary Plan for 2020, which is to be presented to the Commission by 15 October alongside those of all other Member States.
The mission was also an occasion to meet with representatives of social partners and banks with a view to updating them on the modalities of engagement in the post-programme period and exchanging views on key policy issues.
Close dialogue on economic policy priorities and challenges will continue going forward, and on a regular basis. The fourth enhanced surveillance report will be issued this autumn. Based on the completion of agreed commitments, the report could serve as a basis for the Eurogroup to decide on the transfer of SMP-ANFA income equivalent amounts and the cancellation of the step-up interest margin on certain EFSF loans.
 ECB Staff participated in the mission in accordance with the ECB’s competences and thus provided expertise on financial sector policies and macro-critical issues, such as headline fiscal targets and sustainability and financing needs.
26 September 2019