Athens Digest 06.06.2019

• EC warns that gov’t handouts pose risks to achievement of agreed fiscal targets

• Commission’s CSR urges Greece to complete reforms for sustainable recovery

• Foreign Ministe heads for St Petersburg Economic Forum and talks with Lavrov

• Greece seen as emerging destination for purchase of second residence

# The European Commission’s third enhanced surveillance report for Greecepublished yesterday warns that the government’s recent handouts pose risks to the achievement of agreed fiscal targets. More specifically, the report said that the cost of the handouts for 2019 alone is estimated at 1.1 to 1.4 percent of GDP. The cost for 2020 is even higher, between 1.2 and 1.6 percent of GDP, which is far off the 0.6-percent figure given by the government for each year. The report also noted that the momentum of reforms has slowed in recent months. The enhanced surveillance framework for Greece was put in place following the conclusion of the European Stability Mechanism last year.

# In its CSR (Country Specific Recommendation) for Greece, the Commission recommends that Greece takes action in 2019 and 2020 to:
-Achieve a sustainable economic recovery and tackle the excessive macroeconomic imbalances by continuing and completing reforms in line with the post-programme commitments
-Focus investment-related economic policy on sustainable transport and logistics, environmental protection, energy efficiency, renewable energy and interconnection projects, digital technologies, research and development, education, skills, employability, health, and the renewal of urban areas, taking into account regional disparities and the need to ensure social inclusion.

# Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos arrives in Russia today to attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) and to meet on the sidelines with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. The two men are expected to discuss international and regional developments and in particular the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean and Syria.

On Our Radar: Greece seen as emerging destination for purchase of second residence, according to Engel & Völkers
The founder of the multinational real estate company Engel & Völkers, Christian Völker, considers Greece an emerging destination for the purchase of second residences by international buyers. In an interview with Le Figaro, Völker said that Greece was attracting an ever growing interest from foreign buyers and that, in particular, he has great confidence in the islands of Santorini, Mykonos and the resort of Porto Heli, a small peninsula around two hours drive from Athens.