PM hails mar­ket re­turn

Bond sale ‘most im­por­tant mes­sage’ on road to ex­it­ing bailouts, Tsipras says

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras hailed Greece’s bond sale yes­ter­day, the first in three years, as a land­mark on its way to ex­it­ing the cri­sis and its in­ter­na­tional bailouts yes­ter­day.

The bond is­sue, which raised 3 bil­lion eu­ros, is “the most im­por­tant mes­sage and the most sig­nif­i­cant step in order to fin­ish this un­pleas­ant ad­ven­ture of the mem­o­ran­dum,” he said in com­ments ahead of talks with vis­it­ing Euro­pean Eco­nomic and Mon­e­tary Af­fairs Com­mis­sioner Pierre Moscovici. “In­vestors have wel­comed the Greek bonds,” Tsipras said. “Now it is time to dis­cuss the fu­ture of Greece, how we will co­op­er­ate in order to work in the next year to con­clude suc­cess­fully the pro­gram and try to plan for next day,” he said, speak­ing in English.

“Re­turn­ing to the mar­kets is an im­por­tant first step,” Moscovici said, declar­ing that “con­fi­dence in Greece is re­ally com­ing back.” He com­pared the chal­lenge of Greece keep­ing re­forms go­ing to rid­ing a bi­cy­cle, declar­ing that Greek au­thor­i­ties “need to keep on ped­al­ing.” “That’s the case for Europe as a whole,” he added. “If you don’t go that way, the bi­cy­cle falls.”

A Greek gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said more than 200 of­fi­cial of­fers worth 6.5 bil­lion eu­ros were made in the sale, say­ing that the ma­jor­ity of those were “real in­vestors of in­ter­na­tional cal­iber, not prof­i­teer­ing funds.” This is a “vote of con­fi­dence of the in­ter­na­tional in­vest­ment com­mu­nity in the course of the Greek econ­omy,” the of­fi­cial said.

Greek Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos de­scribed the bond sale,which had a yield of 4.625 per­cent, as “sat­is­fac­tory,” adding that the qual­ity and num­ber of in­vestors who ex­pressed in­ter­est con­sti­tuted “the first sta­ble steps of con­fi­dence in the Greek econ­omy.”

Tsakalo­tos added that Greece will do a sec­ond and third is­sue be­fore the bailout ex­pires in Au­gust 2018.

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