Institute of International Finance (IIF) Managing Director Charles Dallara, who was the negotiator for private investors when a previous Greek government imposed 74 percent losses on them, said he believes Greece will return to private markets sooner than expected.
Dallara said that is dependent, however, on the government rebuilding credibility with its European partners and sticking to reforms and austerity measures needed to insure the country can repay its bills.
In an interview with the Athens Ta Nea newspaper, Dallara said he anticipated the investors will return to Greece in 2013, and indeed “not only for financial investments but also for investments in the real economy.” To make that happen, he said, the government must speed the pace of privatizations and that tax reform is of “vital importance for the attraction of investments”.
Dallara, whose term ends on Feb. 1 after 20 years at the helm of the IIF, called the decision taken by then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in October 2010 to involve the private sector in the Greek bailout a “huge mistake” that “let to immense pressures of the state debt markets,” although he agreed to it at the time.
He said Greece’s current government has shown a willingness to work with its international lenders, who want more pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions in return for loans.