Greece is almost out of the tough financial supervision of the eurozone under which the country has been for years. The ministers of the euro area (Eurogroup) agreed in Luxembourg to lift the increased supervision after 20 August. The Greek government will also receive a 748 million euro debt relief benefit for the seventh and final time.
Between 2010 and 2018, Greece was kept financially on its feet by the other euro countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after it threatened to go bankrupt. In August 2018, this support could be terminated, but the country remained under tightened control to ensure that it would comply with all agreements on reforms. Greece has already paid off all its loans to the IMF. This means that for the first time since 2010, the normal situation in Greece will be restored, the Eurogroup said in a statement.
Greece will not move forward without controls at all. Like the other euro countries that received support from European emergency funds during the financial crisis and had to make drastic cuts (Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus and Spain), the country will have to deal with checks for years to come. It has delivered on most of its promises, the Eurogroup notes, and has pledged to continue working on reforms to keep the country economically and financially on track. In view of the uncertain and unstable economic developments due to the war in Ukraine, this is also urgently needed, the Eurogroup warns.
The EUR 748 million payment to Greece is a result of an earlier agreement. In 2012, the Netherlands and other euro area countries helped Athens by buying up Greek government bonds. The profits they recorded on those Greek government bonds were put into an interim account with the permanent European emergency fund (ESM). Every six months since 2019, Greece has been paid a portion of those profits to ease the interest burden and repay loans early. This is a total package of 4.8 billion euros.