Greece’s European creditors have underlined the temporary nature of the country’s surprise return to growth by warning that they have “serious concerns” about the spiralling debts of the eurozone’s weakest member.
The three European institutions negotiating a third bailout package with the government in Athens said that the Greek economy had plunged into a deep recession from which it would not emerge until 2017.
According to an analysis completed by the European commission, the European Central Bank and the eurozone bailout fund, Greece’s debts will peak at 201% of its national output (GDP) in 2016.
The study says that Greece’s debt burden can be made more bearable by waiving payments until the economy has recovered and then giving Athens longer to pay. However, it opposes the idea of a so-called “haircut” – reducing the size of the debt, a course of action the International Monetary Fund thinks may be necessary for Greece’s debts to become sustainable.
“The high debt to GDP and the gross financing needs resulting from this analysis point to serious concerns regarding the sustainability of Greece’s public debt,” said the analysis, adding that far-reaching reforms were needed to address the worries. It forecasts that the Greek economy will contract by 2.3% this year and a further 1.3% in 2016 before returning to 2.7% growth in 2017.
Greece’s debt to GDP ratio will peak next year but will still be 175% in 2020 and 160% in 2022. The IMF views a debt to GDP ratio above 120% as unsustainable.
via The Guardian