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2009 OECD Economic Surveys: Greece 2009

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Greece 2009
OECD's periodic review of Greece's economy.  This 2009 edition examines how well Greece is weathering the economic crisis. It also looks at how to bring Greece's public finances on to a sustainable path, how to improve the performance of the public health care system, and how to raise education outcomes. Greece has weathered the economic crisis relatively well, but putting public financing on a sustainable path will require strengthening tax administration and tighter expenditure management. Greek health outcomes compare favourably with the OECD average but the system is seen as not working well by the population. Greece's educational indicators lag behind those of other OECD countries and OECD makes wide-ranging recommendations in this report.

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Executive Summary

Greece has initially held up better during the global economic crisis than many other OECD countries. It is unlikely, however, to avoid a recession as confidence, tourism and shipping receipts have all fallen substantially. The financial sector may face pressures from a contracting real estate sector and its exposure to the emerging economies of south-eastern Europe. The authorities have responded with fiscal measures and a plan to assist the financial sector. However, their room for policy manoeuvre is tightly restricted by the high public debt, repeated fiscal slippages and the large external and internal imbalances, which have been reflected in high sovereign interest-rate spreads since the end of 2008 as risk aversion rose.

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