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Greece and the EU

Latest business news about Greece and the European Union.

EU support programme helps Greece towards financial stability
Greece has shown steady recovery since it successfully concluded its European Stability Mechanism support programme to restore financial stability and promote growth and job creation, the EU said Tuesday.

Athens is Europe's most innovative city in 2018
The city of Athens has won this year's European Capital of Innovation Awards, funded by the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, the EU Commission announced on Tuesday.

Greece begins new chapter as EU bailout ends
Greece regained its place 'at the heart of Europe' Monday as the EU brought to an end its three-year bailout programme with praise for the efforts of the Greek people and the country's commitment to reform.

Greece post-programme framework to support normalisation
The European Commission adopted a decision on 11 July to activate the enhanced surveillance framework for Greece to support the implementation of agreed reforms following the successful conclusion of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme.

Limited success for EU's bailout plans for Greece
The EU's bailout programmes for Greece following the financial crisis provided short-term financial stability and made some progress on reform possible, according to a European Court of Auditors report.

Special report No 17/2017: The Commission's intervention in the Greek financial crisis
The European Court of Auditors examined the European Commission's management of the three Economic Adjustment Programmes for Greece, bearing in mind the institutional set-up of the different financial assistance instruments used. In relation to the ongoing programme, the audit focused only on the design aspects. Funding for the first programme (GLF), in 2010, was 110 billion euros; for the second (EFSF; 2012) it was 172.6 billion euros and for the third (ESM; 2015) it was 86 billion euros. As of mid-2017, Greece still requires external financial support and the ECA found that the objectives of the programmes were met only to a limited extent. Overall, the programmes' design did make the progress of reform in Greece possible, but weaknesses were found. The ECA makes a number of recommendations to the Commission for future support programmes.

Police height limit may discriminate against women: EU Court
A Greek law laying down a minimum height requirement irrespective of sex, as a criterion for admission to a police school, may discriminate against women, the EU's top court ruled on Wednesday.

Greece no longer in breach of EU budget deficit rules
The European Union closed its excessive deficit procedure for Greece Monday, confirming that the country's deficit is now below 3 per cent of GDP, the EU's reference value for government deficits.

Brussels supports end to Greek deficit procedure
The EU Commission recommended Wednesday that the Council close the Excessive Deficit Procedure for Greece, hailing it as a positive signal of financial stability and economic recovery in the country.

ECB Greek debt exchange scheme lawful: EU Court
The ECB is not bound to make good losses allegedly sustained in 2012 by commercial banks holding Greek debt instruments in connection with restructuring of Greek debt, the EU's top court ruled Tuesday.

New EU emergency support to refugees in Greece
The European Union has stepped up funding for refugees migrants and asylum seekers in Greece, with EUR 115 million in new funding for humanitarian organisations operating in the country.

EU defends Greek deficit statistics
The European Union has defended the credibility of Greece's statistics body ELSTAT, as its former head Andreas Georgiou remains under threat of prison over reporting Greece's huge deficit in 2009.

Speed up refugee relocation, says EU
The resettlement and relocation efforts of EU Member States needs to be speeded up to avoid migrants returning to irregular routes, the European Commission said in a report Wednesday.

Eurozone finance ministers agree to unlock Greek aid
The EU's Eurogroup ministers welcomed a staff-level agreement between Greece and the institutions Tuesday, paving the way for finalisation of the first review of Greece's macroeconomic adjustment programme.

EU prolongs Schengen controls for six months
Foreign affairs ministers agreed Thursday to prolong by six months controls at certain internal Schengen borders of the EU in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

EUR 83m to improve conditions for refugees in Greece
The European Commission has announced EUR 83 million to improve living conditions for refugees in Greece, with funding made available immediately to the UNHCR, the International Federation of the Red Cross and six international NGOs.

Roadmap Back to Schengen: Commission assessment of Action Plan prepared by Greece
The European Commission adopted on 12 April its assessment of the Action Plan presented by the Greek authorities which details how Greece plans to address the deficiencies in its external border management. Greece’s Action Plan is its roadmap for implementing the recommendations made by the Council on how to address deficiencies identified in the management of Greece’s portion of the EU external border. The Commission's assessment finds that significant progress has been made by Greece but that further improvements to the Action Plan and its implementation are needed in order to comprehensively address the deficiencies identified. Today’s assessment constitutes another stage in the process set out by the Commission on the Roadmap 'Back to Schengen' which seeks to end temporary internal border controls and re-establish the normal functioning of the Schengen area before the end of the year.

Schengen Evaluation Report on Greece
The College of Commissioners took note on 27 January taken note and discussed a draft Schengen Evaluation Report on Greece, in view of the findings and their significance.

European Stability Mechanism Programme for Greece
The European Commission signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greece for a new stability support programme on 19 August. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Europe's firewall established in 2012 in response to the global financial crisis, will be able to disburse up to EUR 86 billion in loans over the next three years, provided that Greek authorities implement reforms to address fundamental economic and social challenges, as specified in the MoU.

Task Force for Greece
The Task Force for Greece, launched by President Barroso in July 2011 to provide technical assistance, has publishes its third progress report. The Task Force, which has personnel in both Athens and Brussels, identifies and coordinates the technical assistance that Greece needs to help it deliver on its commitments in the context of its economic adjustment programme, and to accelerate the absorption of EU funds. Assistance focuses on measures to enhance competitiveness, growth and employment.

The Greek economy in facts and figures
Herewith basic economic figures for Greece, the epicentre of the eurozone debt crisis and the first European Union member state to be bailed out by the EU and the International Monetary Fund, in May 2010.

Greece: country overview
Greece joined the EC (now the EU) in 1981; it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union in 2001. Greece has suffered a severe economic crisis since late 2009, due to nearly a decade of chronic overspending and structural rigidities. Since 2010, Greece has entered three bailout agreements with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF, and with the third, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The Greek Government agreed to its current, $96 billion bailout in August 2015, which will conclude in August 2018. The most important sectors of Greece's economy in 2015 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (25.4 %), public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (21.0 %) and real estate activities (17.2 %).Greece's main export partners ar y and Turkey, while its main import partners are Germany, Italy and Russia.

Greece: 400-year-old deal obsolete?
On May 15, word got out that Greece will go to the polls again on June 17. The left-wing, anti-austerity bloc has a fair chance of victory. Potentially, this could lead to the demise of Greece's place in the eurozone whereas Spain, Portugal, and Ireland may be next.

Task Force for Greece second quarterly report - guide
The European Commission's Task Force for Greece has presented its second report on the EU support to Greece. It was created to help Greece implement its challenging reform agenda, which is designed to return to growth and create jobs. The Task Force was set up by by EC President Barroso in July 2011. This second report describes progress made in accelerating Greece's absorption capacity of EU funds (above EU average) and in setting up and implementing technical assistance (TA) to Greece in nine key areas with the support of around twenty Member States, the Commission and the IMF.

Second quarterly report of the Task Force for Greece
The European Commission's Task Force for Greece presented its second report on the EU support to Greece on 15 March 2012. The Task Force for Greece was established by President Barroso following a request from the Greek Prime Minister Papandreou in Summer 2011. The objective is to support the delivery of the Greek adjustment programme and to accelerate the absorption of EU funds through a comprehensive programme of technical assistance.