The Minister of National Economy and Finance Mr. Kostis Hatzidakis participated yesterday and today in the Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings in Brussels.

Mr. Hatzidakis presented the priorities of the Greek government’s economic policy, underlining that Greece, based on the progress made in the last four years, will remain on the path of fiscal stability and will resolutely proceed with those reforms that must be completed, focusing on combating tax evasion and the exploitation of public property: “after the result of the last elections we have before us a historic window of opportunity which we are determined to take advantage of for the benefit of the Greek citizensnoted Mr. Hatzidakis.

He also pledged that Greece will actively participate in the discussions held on the revision of the rules of economic governance, seeking to reach a balanced agreement that will ensure the limitation of deficits and public debt, without undermining the development of the economy of the member states.

During the meetings, among others, the following issues were discussed:

Fiscal orientation of the Eurozone: The Ministers discussed the issue of the preparation of the national budgets for the next year and adopted a related Joint Declaration. Mr. Hatzidakis, in his intervention, pointed out the need for the pursuit of fiscal stability not to undermine economic growth, but also for the necessary flexibility to deal with any new exogenous crises.

International role of the euro: A European Central Bank report has been launched highlighting the euro’s resilience as an international currency, as it increased its international influence despite the fallout from the war in Ukraine. Mr. Hatzidakis expressed his satisfaction with the findings of the report while stating that the deepening of cooperation in capital market matters and the promotion of banking integration will further strengthen the international role of the euro, for the benefit of the European economy and European citizens.

Digital Euro: Mr. Hatzidakis stated that Greece of the European Commission and the European Central Bank supports the initiative for the introduction of the digital euro which will work alongside physical money, adapting the economy to the technological developments of the time and facilitating both consumers and businesses in their daily transactions. The Minister noted, however, that before any relevant decisions are made, all the necessary preparations must be made at a political, financial and technical level so that the relevant development can proceed on a stable ground.

Reform of the Customs Union: A set of proposals from the European Commission was presented which seeks to simplify existing procedures, strengthen the effectiveness of controls and address modern challenges such as electronic commerce. Mr. Hatzidakis welcomed the initiative which he described as absolutely necessary and stated that Greece will carefully examine all the technical details.

As part of the meetings, Mr. Hatzidakis held bilateral meetings with the President of the Eurogroup Paschal Donohoe, the German Minister of Finance Christian Lindner, the Cypriot Minister of Finance Makis Keravnos, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Mr. ValdisDombrovskis, the Commissioner for Economy Mr. Paolo Gentiloni, the Commissioner for the Budget JohannesHahn, the Cohesion Commissioner ElisaFerreira, the Executive Director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Mr PierreGramegna and other European officials.

Mr. Hatzidakis stated that “Greece has ceased to be the black sheep of Europe and everyone is talking positively about the country’s progress in the last four years. I presented the priorities of our economic policy and made clear our commitment to continue the reforms with the aim of an even more dynamic, productive and exporting Greek economy that will create the conditions so that no one is left behind».

Regarding the revision of the fiscal rules, our firm position is that ensuring fiscal stability is absolutely necessary, but should not undermine Europe’s economic development. At the same time, there should be the necessary flexibility to deal with exogenous crises, such as the ones we have experienced in recent years“, emphasized Mr. Hatzidakis