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Economy

EU Report Cites Five Labors Holding Back Greek Economic Comeback

ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ hopes of accelerating an economic recovery during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic are facing five hurdles even as it is still being monitored by the Troika of European bailout lenders.

That was the assessment of a detailed report from the European Commission on the Greek economy, said Kathimerini, which pointed out that while there’s been a slow recovery during the pandemic that too many imbalances remain.

The problems cited were: high public debt, bad loans, a persistent trade deficit, high jobless rate and the low rate of potential growth, problems which have gone on for years and weren’t resolved by 326 billion euros ($348.48 billion) in three international bailouts.

Especially problematic is the high rate of 12 percent of bad loans with customers not repaying banks, the highest in the European Union which is holding down the profitability although the banks had been bailed out as well.

The bad loan ratio though means there is less of a capacity for banks to give further loans, especially to businesses and new openings during the pandemic, the report also noting that the capital adequacy ratio in Greece remains one of the lowest in the Eurozone, at 15 percent.

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