EU Commission Likely to Revise Upwards Economic Forecasts for Greece, Gentiloni Says

EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

ATHENS – The European Commission is likely to revise upwards its winter forecasts for the Greek economy, EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday.

Speaking in Athens, during an event organized by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gentiloni reiterated the EU executive’s support on a Greek government request to lower targets on primary surplus and change the use of proceeds from ANFAs and SMPs. “On the use of SMPs and ANFAs, the process is ongoing with the presentation, this month, of a report on the Greek economy which I have reasons to believe it will be very positive and it is also likely that next week’s winter forecasts for Greece to be closer to forecasts recently made by the Bank of Greece,” he said. “This process sets the rhythm to discuss the request in June’s Eurogroup meeting and to be able to allow the use of these profits for investments. It will be a first step and not the ony one, as we will have a gradual approach on the issue,” he explained.

The EU Commissioner for Economy presented the Commission’s European Green Deal, an investment-growth plan expected to mobilize more than 1.0 trillion euros in European, national and private capital in the next decade. He unveiled the road map of a European Union that is transforming based on green growth, a course in which Greece could emerge as a “green champion”.

Greece, he noted, has significant comparative advantages, such as a geographical position, climate, renewable energy sources, green tourism, and the agri-food sector. “It is important to sieze the opportunity,” Gentiloni said. He added that a so-called Fair Transition Mechanism will help Greece in its efforts to remove dependence on lignite.

Commenting on taxation and particularly green taxation, Gentiloni acknowledged that more restrictions should be put on CO2 emissions, but that must be done outside the EU as well in cooperation with the World Trade Organization. Particularly on shipping fuel, he noted there was concern in Greece and stressed it is an issue the Commission was examining and seeking solutions for.

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