Edition: International | Greek

Home » Europe

France’s Macron takes his EU reform plans to Athens

The Greek government hopes to make the most of French President Emmanuel Macron's visit on Sept. 7-8. On the agenda will be France's plans for EU reform and Greece's negotiations with its lenders

By: EBR - Posted: Thursday, September 07, 2017

text size [–] [+]
The Greek economy is showing timid signs of improvement. Last week, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced that Greece’s gross domestic product grew by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of the year. Unemployment is at around 22 percent, still the highest in Europe but down from a peak of 28 percent in 2013. But Greece is not out of the woods yet. Representatives from Greece’s lenders will arrive in Athens next week to start preparations for a review of the country’s bailout program. The formal review will start in October, and the lenders could ask Greece for more economic reforms. Greece does not face any big debt repayments to its institutional lenders for the rest of the year, so a Greek default is unlikely in the short term. However, another round of unpopular economic reforms could reignite lingering resentment between the Greek electorate and the government. A prolonged review process could also reignite fears about Greece’s financial future and make it harder for Athens to
The Greek economy is showing timid signs of improvement. Last week, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced that Greece’s gross domestic product grew by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of the year. Unemployment is at around 22 percent, still the highest in Europe but down from a peak of 28 percent in 2013. But Greece is not out of the woods yet. Representatives from Greece’s lenders will arrive in Athens next week to start preparations for a review of the country’s bailout program. The formal review will start in October, and the lenders could ask Greece for more economic reforms. Greece does not face any big debt repayments to its institutional lenders for the rest of the year, so a Greek default is unlikely in the short term. However, another round of unpopular economic reforms could reignite lingering resentment between the Greek electorate and the government. A prolonged review process could also reignite fears about Greece’s financial future and make it harder for Athens to

MORE ON Europe

Macron's visit is highly symbolic for the Greek government: Athens wants to show that Greece is finally turning a corner after a decade of crisis and three rescue programs by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants to send the message that international investors are welcome in the country and hopes to obtain at least the promise of French investment in Greece (around 40 French business leaders will accompany Macron).
 
Tsipras also wants to shore up domestic support. Years of unpopular spending cuts and tax hikes have taken their toll on Greek voters. The country's general election will not be held until late 2019, but Tsipras is aware that unless he manages to put the austerity years behind him and to focus his political agenda on growth and prosperity, he may not be re-elected.
 
The Greek economy is showing timid signs of improvement. Last week, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced that Greece's gross domestic product grew by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of the year. Unemployment is at around 22 percent, still the highest in Europe but down from a peak of 28 percent in 2013. But Greece is not out of the woods yet. Representatives from Greece's lenders will arrive in Athens next week to start preparations for a review of the country's bailout program. The formal review will start in October, and the lenders could ask Greece for more economic reforms. Greece does not face any big debt repayments to its institutional lenders for the rest of the year, so a Greek default is unlikely in the short term. However, another round of unpopular economic reforms could reignite lingering resentment between the Greek electorate and the government. A prolonged review process could also reignite fears about Greece's financial future and make it harder for Athens to fully return to international bond markets.
 
From Macron's perspective, the visit is part of a strategy to tour Europe and present his plans for EU reform. France has proposed ideas such as creating a separate budget for the Eurozone and increasing EU spending across member states. France wants the European Union to discuss these ideas before the end of the year and is counting on support from Southern Europe.
 
Greece will probably support France's visions for EU reform, but Macron's visit is not without political risks. Tsipras could use Macron's visit to once again request measures to alleviate Greece's debt burden. This is a controversial issue in Germany, especially during an electoral season (Germany will hold a general election Sept. 24). Macron will therefore have to find a balance between his aspirations of leading Mediterranean Europe and the need to preserve France's alliance with Germany. 

Europe

German elections mean Europe’s populists aren’t going away ‒ but neither are the immigrants

After she has completed the painstaking task of forging a new ruling coalition, German Chancellor Angela Merkel must join forces with other European leaders to tackle the re-awakened demons of far-right populism

Business

The nine major ways of doing business in the world

A new measure for gauging and understanding the challenge of business abroad

Editor’s Column

In a ‘constructive’ Brexit spirit May repeats: ‘better no deal than a bad deal’

By: N. Peter Kramer

In her speech in Florence (Italy) at the end of September, UK Prime Minister May made clear that Britain will not leave the EU on March 30 2019, the date that the EU Withdrawal Bill will be enacted and the UK membership will be terminated officially

MARKET INDICES


Live World Indices are Powered by Forexpros - The Leading Financial Portal.

Magazine

View 3/2017 2017 Digital edition

Current Issue

3/2017 2017

View past issues
Subscribe
Advertise
Digital edition

All contents © Copyright EMG Strategic Consulting Ltd. 1997-2017. All Rights Reserved   |   Home Page  |   Disclaimer  |   Website by Theratron