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ESM chief economist: EU recovery fund accompanied by reforms, which will determine Greece’s econ future

The fiscal burden from pandemic-related support measures reaches 5.8 percent of Greece’s GDP for 2020, the ESM’s chief economist, Rolf Strauch, reiterated this month, while adding that the country can and should nevertheless return to a robust fiscal position by ending the stimulus and support packages once the crisis is over.

In an interview with, Strauch also emphasized that Athens will not need a new credit line from the ESM, even when the European Credit Bank (ECB) concludes its extraordinary debt buy-back program.

The high-ranking ESM official said Greece has until the end of 2022 to decide if it wants financing, via the ESM, at a level of 2 percent of its GDP with favorable terms.

Strauch, a German national, said the goal now for pandemic-battered Greece – which emerged a couple of years ago from a decade of economic depression and three successive bailouts – is to return to its pre-Covid growth cycle as soon as possible.

Moreover, in a statement that is bound to raise eyebrows in the Greek government and the country’s political establishment, Strauch said the EU’s recovery fund is accompanied by reforms, “which will, in the end, determine the country’s future”.