EU’s “Excessive Deficit Procedure” is Lifted for Greece, as State Finances Improve

The European Council said on Monday that Greece’s deficit is below the reference point of 3% of gross domestic product, and the country can exit the bloc’s ‘excessive deficit procedure’ (EDP).

EDP is an action launched by the European Commission against any EU Member State that exceeds the budgetary deficit ceiling imposed by the EU’s Stability and growth pact legislation.

“Greece’s finances are in much better shape,” Toomas Toniste, Finance Minister for Estonia, which holds the Council’s presidency, said in a statement. “We are now in the last year of the financial support programme and progress is being made to enable Greece to again raise money on the financial markets at sustainable rates.”

Greece managed to return to the international bond markets after a three-year break in July, selling bonds worth 3 billion euros as a reflection of its improving economy.

The country will now be subjected to the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact, its fiscal rule book, the Council said in the statement. This year the Greek government is expected to run a deficit of 1.2% of GDP, and move to a 0.6% of GDP surplus in 2018.