An agreement reached during an EU Summit on Thursday is creating a new landscape for the Greek economy which will last for many years “after setting a barrel’s end in the country’s public debt”, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters, the minister said he has already begun briefing opposition political party leaders over these decisions and renewed his call for consensus and national understanding. Venizelos said the agreement offered “a significant relief which will gradually reach the real economy” while he added that “this should not mean a relaxation of our efforts. We must continue implementing our economic programme, budget execution, promoting privatizations and structural reforms”. He said that the goal was the return of the economy into positive growth rates next year.
The Greek banking system is the safest in Europe, Venizelos said, adding there was a protection shield which should make savers feel absolutely safe. Liquidity and capital strengthening needed for banks were covered 100 pct precautionary and fully guaranteed by the EFSF. Greek pension funds will participate in a rollover process of the Greek public debt. The Greek minister said that pension funds owned a portfolio of 20 billion euros in Greek state bonds which will be exchanged with 30-year bonds without any loss in their nominal value.
The Greek minister left the door open that private sector participation in the rollover could be larger than 12 pct, as envisaged by IIF, but noted there was not issue of individual savers participating in the rollover process. Venizelos said that any decision by international credit ratings to change the country’s rating has been already responded by European leaders and will have no impact on the Greek economy which is fully protected. He urged Greek shipowners and Greeks abroad to contribute with their capital in boosting the economy and called on all those who have transferred their capital abroad to repatriate them. “If we do make a national effort we will not make it,” the minister said.