The Eurogroup discussed the current economic situation in the euro area, following presentations by the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
The economic recovery in the euro area is expected to continue, but possibly at a somewhat slower pace than expected earlier. The anticipated slowdown is related to external factors, such as the slower growth in China and other emerging market economies.
The euro area therefore needs to continue pursuing sound fiscal policies and structural reforms to achieve balanced and sustainable growth.
The Eurogroup continued the discussion on ways to reduce the high tax burden on labour in the euro area, which currently is the highest in the world.
Ministers agreed on an informal benchmarking of labour taxation in the eurozone and adopted a statement to that effect. Benchmarking will allow the member states to compare their situation to that in the other countries when adopting national policies.
The Eurogroup welcomed the positive 7th review of Cyprus' ongoing economic adjustment programme. This opens the way for the approval procedures in a number of member states, after which the ESM board of governors will formally approve the disbursement of €500 million in October.
The Eurogroup was informed about the latest developments in Greece.
It is confident that the new government, which will be formed after the general elections later this month, will work constructively with its euro area partners and the institutions to implement Greece's new economic adjustment programme, agreed in August.