12/03/2015 - The OECD and Greece agreed today to work together on the design and implementation of the structural reforms needed to ensure inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras signed a Joint Document of Co-operation to strengthen the collaboration following talks in Paris between OECD experts and Greek ministers on a range of issues. They include:
“Cooperation between the OECD and the Government of Prime Minister Tsipras got off to a good start,” said Mr Gurría. Speaking to the media with Mr Tsipras, he said: “We have had highly productive talks which will help set the direction for our collaboration over the coming months. We have identified the areas where we need to work together and have set up a joint steering group for this purpose.” (Read the speech)
“The OECD is not replacing any other institution that the government is working with. We are involved because we were asked by one of our founding member countries to offer help and advice on their reform programme. We are going to listen to them and work together with them. The Greeks know the challenges they face better than anyone. Our aim is to help kick-start growth and facilitate an inclusive and sustainable recovery of the Greek economy, so we can improve the well-being of all Greeks.”
Since the crisis, the OECD has been providing targeted advice to a number of governments, including Mexico, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain and France, over and above the regular programme of analysis and recommendations provided to its member countries. Using an evidence-based approach to establish best practice in a range of economic, social and environmental areas, the OECD has been able to help countries design policies adapted to their circumstances, in order to improve growth and well-being.
OECD recommendations are regularly used as the basis of reforms and legislation. In Mexico, for instance, OECD guidelines on fighting bid-rigging in public procurement have led to a review of legislation and are being used to help the country’s national electricity company improve the efficiency and transparency of how it uses its budget.
The drive toward greater tax transparency is having a tangible effect on taxpayer behaviour, helping countries like Greece. OECD analysis of voluntary disclosure programmes shows that since 2009, more than 500,000 taxpayers in various OECD and G20 countries have voluntarily disclosed hidden income and wealth, leading to more than EUR 38 billion of additional tax revenues.
Greece is already making important progress in a number of other reform areas identified by the OECD, such as making its competition policy framework more efficient through enhancing the effectiveness and independence of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) Under the agreement signed today the OECD will aim in the short-term to help Greece develop its reform programme in more detail, and in the medium and long-term, assist the government with the implementation of the policies. The co-ordination of the joint steering group set up today, which will be composed of OECD officials and representatives of the Greek Government, will be managed by Mr Euclid Tsakalotos (on behalf of the Prime Minister of Greece) and Mrs Gabriela Ramos (on behalf of the Secretary-General of the OECD).
Among those accompanying Prime Minister Tsipras at today’s discussions were Yanis Varoufakis, Finance Minister, and Euclid Tsakalotos, Alternate Minister for International Economic Relations.
Watch the webcast of the press conference
Prime Minister Tsipras also delivered a keynote speech to an audience of OECD staff and guests on “Reforming Greece within a Changing Europe”.
Read the OECD Secretary-General's Introductory Remarks.