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2018 OECD Economic Surveys: Greece 2018

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Greece is on track to recover from a deep depression. Reforms have gathered pace and fiscal consolidation has strengthened credibility, lowering uncertainty. Exports have led the expansion and labour market reforms have improved competitiveness, supporting employment growth, but wages and productivity remain low. Real investment has yet to recover due to tight financial conditions and structural impediments. The tax collection system is improving, but the tax system still relies on high rates and narrow bases, hampering growth and creating inequities. The public debt remains high and is a source of vulnerabilities. Reducing the debt ratio will hinge on raising long-term growth, maintaining prudent fiscal policy and additional debt restructuring as needed. Improving processes to negotiate employment agreements, better matching workers’ skills with workplaces’ needs, strengthening firms’ incentives to innovate and train workers in addition to continuing social protection reforms will raise employment and wages, and reduce poverty. The government has improved important areas of the investment climate, but more is required to fully implement the product market reforms already passed, improve regulatory quality and transparency, fight corruption and address informality. Reducing non-performing loans and phasing out capital controls while preserving financial stability will improve financing conditions and boost confidence.

SPECIAL FEATURES: BOOSTING INVESTMENT; SUPPORTING INCOMES THROUGH EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL PROTECTION

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Basic statistics of Greece, 2016

(Numbers in parentheses refer to the OECD average)

This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.The economic situation and policies of Greece were reviewed by the Committee on 29 January 2018. The draft was revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 14 March 2018.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Mauro Pisu, Tim Bulman, Panagiotis Barkas and Nicholas Lazarou under the supervision of Asa Johansson, and the general supervision of Alvaro Pereira. Statistical research assistance was provided by Eun Jung Kim and administrative support by Dacil Kurzweg.The Survey also benefitted from contributions by Willem Adema, Jarmila Botev, Hervé Boulhol, Bert Brys, Sandrine Cazes, Chris Clarke, Thomas Dannequin, Oliver Denk, Alexandros Dimitropoulos, Assia Elgouacem, Arno Engel, Diana Toledo Figueroa, Robert Ford, Michael Förster, Alessia Forti, Andrea Garnero, Yvan Guillemette, Alexander Hijzen, Herwig Immervoll, Patrick Lenain, Andrew Macintyre, Federica Maiorano, Iota Nassr, Kostas Panagiotopoulos, Beatriz Ponz, Gillian Golden, Daniele Pacifico, Olga Rastrigina, Nicolas Ruiz, Angelica Salvi Del Pero, and Daniel Sanchez-Serra.The previous Survey of Greece was issued in March 2016.

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