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. It established a bilateral technical cooperation fund with the EBRD in 1995, replenishing it over time, with a total amount of €3.1 million, and this fund is actively supporting EBRD investments. Greece has also contributed €500,000 to the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
The EBRD’s Greece strategy was adopted on 21 October 2020
Greece's policy response to the coronavirus crisis
The EBRD is monitoring Greece's policy response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our biweekly publication identifies the major channels of disruption as well as selected impact and response indicators.
Current EBRD forecast for Greece Real GDP Growth in 2020: -9.5%
Current EBRD forecast for Greece Real GDP Growth in 2021: 4.0%
The Covid-19 pandemic has abruptly interrupted a steady economic recovery in Greece. Prior to the pandemic, all economic indicators were moving in the right direction: positive GDP growth (1.9 per cent in 2018 and 2019), steadily falling unemployment, strong fiscal surpluses and economic sentiment at a 12-year high. The lockdown (schools and all nonessential businesses closed) imposed from March 23rd to May 4th 2020 severely affected consumption and overall economic activity. The effects were most visible in the second quarter of 2020 when GDP contracted by 15.2 per cent year-on-year, one of the biggest drops across the EBRD regions. The halt of virtually all travel to Greece from March until July 1st heavily affected the tourism sector, which normally represents more than a fifth of GDP. Net receipts from transport services were also down significantly in the first half of the year.
The strong fiscal performance and debt relief measures in recent years have provided ammunition for the implementation of a solid fiscal package in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, amounting to 8.4 per cent of GDP and including a range of measures to cushion the impact of the pandemic on businesses, households and vulnerable groups. Nevertheless, a deep recession for 2020 as a whole is unavoidable. GDP growth is forecast at -9.5 per cent in 2020, rebounding to 4.0 per cent in 2021. This partial recovery next year is subject to significant risk, especially linked with a possible continued disruption to tourism and other key sectors of the economy.