The Strategist

Greece wants to return to bond markets without ECB

06/29/2017 - 15:37

The short-term goal of Greece is to return to the bond markets, and this will be possible even without including its debt obligations in the European Central Bank (ECB)’s bailout program of buying assets, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Thursday, Reuters writes.

psyberartist via flickr
psyberartist via flickr
Eurozone governments drafted new details on the possible debt relief for the country affected by the crisis on June 15, and approved allocation of 8.5 billion euro in loans for the rescue program, completing the review of Athens' progress, which lasted for more than six months.

However, the ECB said that not all conditions are still met. Until then, Greece's bonds will not be included in the regulator’s quantitative easing program.

"Now the Greek government has a short-term and medium-term goal, which, of course, is to gain access to markets, which is possible without QE", the Minister said at an economic conference in Athens.

Tsakalotos said that Greece "will soon show" the strategy of returning to the bond market, which can happen for the first time since 2014, but the goal, he said, is not to take only a one-off attempt.

"We want the markets to know that this is part of the strategy," the official said.

The June 15 agreement was a relief for the Greek government, which is sagging in opinion polls and wants to convince the Greeks that after seven years of tightening their belts their sacrifices will pay off and the country can get out of the crisis.

Initially, the Greek side was aimed at a debt relief deal that would allow its bonds to be included in the ECB's asset purchase program and, therefore, help accelerate its efforts to return capital.

Tsakalotos said that the quantitative easing would help Greek banks, but it is largely symbolic. He also added he was "fully confident" that Greece would show good growth in 2017 and 2018, but the country's goal is to ensure sustainable growth.

Speaking at the same conference, Head of the European Stabilization Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling urged Greece to adhere to reforms, and said that he is confident that the country will return to the bond markets before the program of financial assistance in 2018 is completed.


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