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Economy

After 12 Years, Greece’s EU Lenders Stop Checking the Books

ATHENS – Two years after three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($333.47 billion) to prop up Greece’s economy ended – and 12 years of monitoring spending and austerity measures, the country’s European Union lenders said the checking will end on Aug. 20.

That will cease what was euphemistically called “enhanced surveillance,” a term describing the Troika of the EU-European Stability Mechanism-European Central Bank making sure that targets were met to prevent automatic spending cuts.

“A difficult chapter for our country comes to a close,” said Finance Minister  Christos Staikouras, reported Reuters. “Greece returns to a European normality and will no longer be an exception in the Eurozone,” the 19 countries in the 27-member EU who use the euro as their currency.

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said the checking of Greece’s books could end because the New Democracy government had met commitments and reforms.

That means, said Staikouras, that Greece will now find it easier to lure more foreign investors, especially during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, and reduce interest costs on borrowing from financial markets.

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