When The Economist, the respected British monthly magazine, publishes anything, readers take note. So when its list of 35 countries with the best economic performance in 2023 was circulated, many analysts around the world were in for a surprise.
According to the report, Greece surpassed all – often negative – expectations and topped the list for the second consecutive year. This dispelled all notions of mismanagement that in the past defined the country’s economy and in some cases were still being stubbornly held on to.
By contrast, countries with a widely admired economic image – such as Germany, Sweden and Finland were described as ‘lazy’, with Finland ranking last on the list. As usual, the overall score was based on five indicators: GDP, inflation, inflation breadth, stock market performance and government debt. In the case of Greece, it was the stock market performance that really shot up, showing a value increase of 43.8%. The magazine cited the Greek government’s series of market-friendly reforms as the reason why investors continued to favour Greek companies.
There is little doubt that another factor gave the economy a boost, namely investors’ interest in real estate, often in combination with Greece’s Golden Visa program, which continues to rank among the most affordable and attractive residency by investment schemes across Europe. As migration investment expert Yiannos Trisokkas noted: “So, in addition to investing in a property that promises a healthy return on investment, buyers and their families can apply for a residence permit that grants them freedom of movement throughout the European Union and the Schengen Area.”
Greece’s Minister of National Economy and Finance, Kostis Hatzidakis, was also quick to comment, pointing out that this report was the exact opposite of what opposition voices were claiming. More importantly, he underlined the fact that the government’s effective measures were recognized not only by the Economist, but also by the OECD, the international rating agencies and media, as well as the Eurogroup and ECOFIN.
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