Greek FinMin Addresses IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings


Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Sotiris Dimitropoulos)

ATHENS -- The important challenges that global economies have to face during the transition from the period of emergency measures to support households and businesses due to the health crisis, to the period of strengthening economic recovery, was the highlight of Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras's speech during Monday’s closed online session, in the framework of the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

During the discussion on fiscal policy in the developed economies of Europe, the Greek FinMin had the opportunity to exchange views with Director General of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde, and other officials.

Staikouras stressed that, in order to deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the Greek government has taken "smart" measures to support the income of citizens and the liquidity of companies, recovery oriented, which also have positive effects on medium-term economic development. In addition, he stressed the importance of utilizing the Next Generation EU program for recovery, mainly through the appropriate and effective use of grants from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (RRF). "It is crucial to achieve optimal planning and rapid implementation of national recovery plans," the finance minister said.

At the same time, Staikouras made extensive reference to the need to successfully address poverty and inequality, through interventions such as:

- the reduction of the tax burden on labor

- additional measures to increase employment and workforce, in particular for lower-income social groups, such as women, migrants and young people

- the implementation of significant reforms, which will improve the quality of education provided and contribute to bridging the "digital gap"

- an effective social policy, which will not only ensure that the social protection "net" is as strong and broad as required, but also that it prevents "poverty traps" that perpetuate the unequal distribution of income.