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Greece overview

EBRD invests in Greece

In Greece we focus on

  • strengthening competitiveness by facilitating the expansion of the private sector
  • supporting sustainable energy and infrastructure, including through further regional linkages
  • further enhancing the resilience of the financial sector.
The EBRD initially began investing in Greece on a temporary basis in response to a request from the Greek authorities to support reforms and a return to economic growth. Originally, the EBRD’s shareholders voted for the Bank to invest in Greece until the end of 2020.
In December 2018 our shareholders agreed to extend the Bank's mandate in the country until 2025.
Our investments – backed by donor-funded technical assistance and policy dialogue -are intended to strengthen progress in the reform of Greece’s economy and contribute to its recovery. The EBRD deploys its experience and expertise in attracting and encouraging foreign and domestic investment, strengthening the role of the private sector and deepening regional integration.
Specifically, we aim to support private companies that have strong export potential and sound business models through direct and indirect finance, with a particular focus on facilitating cross border transactions, enhancing value chain linkages and promoting strategic consolidation to help accelerate the companies’ recovery. 
The EBRD will also engage, where possible, in expanding the private sector’s role in infrastructure and energy. Greece is a natural trade and investment partner for many countries in south-eastern Europe where the EBRD has a strong presence. The Bank will support investments and policy measures which are conducive to integration.
Greece is a founding member of the EBRD and to date Greek companies and banks have invested €2.3 billion in the EBRD’s existing countries of operations, with a focus on south-eastern Europe. Under the Vienna Initiative, the EBRD supported the subsidiaries of Greek banks in the region at the height of the global financial crisis.
The Government of Greece requested that the country be granted recipient country status at the EBRD in a letter dated 25 November 2014, which said EBRD engagement would ”provide value added in tackling the consequences of the financial and economic crisis and addressing the structural challenges in the  Greek economy that it exposed”.
The request was reconfirmed by the new Government on 2 February 2015. 

As well as being a country where the EBRD invests, Greece is also an EBRD donor, having contributed €525 million in donor funds. Greece established a bilateral technical cooperation fund with the EBRD in 1995, replenished over time, which is actively supporting EBRD investments. Greece has also contributed €500,000 to the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). In 2020, Greece contributed €20 million in respect to the Greek PPP Preparation Facility Cooperation Account. In 2021, Greece channelled €500m in concessional loans from its EU Rapid Recovery Facility contribution through the EU-EBRD Greece RRF 2.

The EBRD’s Greece strategy was adopted on 21 October 2020

Current EBRD forecast for Greece Real GDP Growth in 2023: 2.4%

Current EBRD forecast for Greece Real GDP Growth in 2024: 2.3%

In Greece, the strong post-Covid economic recovery continued in 2022 but slowed down in the second half of the year. GDP grew by more than 8 per cent year-on-year in the first six months of 2022, driven by buoyant private consumption, rising government spending and strong export growth. Tourism also performed exceptionally well in 2022, with non-residents’ receipts almost matching the pre-Covid record year of 2019.

However, confidence among consumers and producers became increasingly fragile in the second half of the year, contributing to a sharp drop in growth in the third quarter, as global energy markets faced increasing uncertainty and turbulence and as the Eurozone economy slowed down markedly. Overall, GDP grew by 5.9 per cent in 2022, somewhat higher than expected on strong end of year performance. High-frequency indicators on industrial production and confidence in the first months of 2023 were mostly positive.

Annual inflation is falling rapidly after exceeding 12 per cent at one point in 2022, dropping to 5.4 per cent in March 2023 (HICP measure). The government responded to the energy crisis with mitigating measures, which have a significant fiscal cost, but the budget is on track for a return to primary surpluses in 2023. Public debt remains the highest in Europe (as a per cent of GDP) but the ratio fell sharply in the past two years, from more than 200 per cent of GDP (end-2020) to around 170 per cent at end-2022, as a result of high nominal GDP growth and further debt relief measures. While the economy is slowing down, the overall short-term outlook remains a positive one. A moderate growth slowdown, reflecting global developments, is projected in 2023 (GDP growth of 2.4 per cent), as well as 2024 (2.3 per cent). The implementation of projects, funded by both loans and grants, under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility is advancing well and is mitigating the downside risks coming from global and regional turbulence.

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