“It is an example of resilience in the face of great challenges,” the ECB president said at the official dinner in her honor hosted by the Bank of Greece
Praises for the Greek economy, its recovery after the crisis, as well as the resilience it has shown, but also for the Greek people, were praised by its president European Central Bank Christine Lagarde speaking during the official dinner given in her honor by the Bank of Greece in Athens, going so far as to characterize Greece as an “example” that can serve as an inspiration to us all as we face a more volatile world and the many challenges that brings.
“It is an example of resilience in the face of great challenges. And it’s an example of the importance of being part of something bigger – our common European destiny,” he said.
As she argued in her speech, thanks to the hard work that has been done to make the economy more flexible, Greece has made an impressive comeback from the pandemic.
He recognized that the crisis that broke out in 2009 – and the program of fiscal adjustment and structural reforms that it entailed – had an extremely heavy price.
“From 2008 to 2016, the GDP of Greece shrank by more than a quarter. The unemployment rate rose 20 percentage points at its peak. And just as the economy was recovering and reforms were bearing fruit, disaster struck again. The pandemic brought travel and tourism to a standstill and the Greek economy shrank by an additional 9% in 2020.
Throughout this period, Greece has also been at the forefront of the global challenges facing Europe. The climate crisis has always been present, as this summer tragically proved. And Greece has also borne the brunt of the various migration crises that have hit Europe.
However, despite this succession of setbacks, the country’s resilience has been remarkable,” she added.
However, he said, GDP per capita is now 10% above the pre-pandemic level – a much stronger performance than the eurozone as a whole. The unemployment rate also fell sharply and was 10.9% in August, the lowest level since late 2009.
The ECB president pointed out that “with a stronger economy, the country has been able to work further through its debt challenge, with the result that Greece’s public debt-to-GDP ratio has fallen by 35 percentage points from a peak of 206% in 2020, one of the fastest declines in the world. Two rating agencies recently upgraded Greek government bonds to investment grade status.
But, it’s not just the economy that is resilient – it’s the Greek people too. There were times when they could have chosen a different path. However, they remained committed to being at the heart of Europe, even in the most difficult times..”
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