Greek Central Banker Stournaras Says Risks Remain as Long as Debt Relief and Reforms are Delayed



stournarasBank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras called on Greece’s EU partners to urgently outline debt relief measures to boost economic recovery and facilitate Greece’s returns to the financial markets in 2018. Though Greece’s EU creditors had promised earlier this year to specify debt restructuring that would help make the country’s public debt sustainable, such measures have yet to be announced. “Urgent action is warranted on the specification and quantification of the foreseen debt relief measures,” said Stournaras, speaking at an EU-Arab summit in Athens.

The banker hopes that debt sustainability would help enhance the credibility of the program currently being followed, while also working towards creating greater acceptance of these policies. Via the consolidation of confidence, economic recovery would be strengthened, paving the way for Greece’s “return to financial markets after the end of the program.”

Stournaras reiterated his belief that Greece’s economy would grow by 2.5 percent next year and by 3 percent in 2018, provided that Athens accelerates its speed in implementing reforms and privatizations that had been agreed during the third bailout. “These projections assume that the program implementation will remain on track, the relevant loan tranches will be disbursed on time, and that the monetary policy of the ECB will continue to be accommodative,” he said, adding that other issues that need to be tackled include the matter of non-performing loans (NPLs) in order to attract investment.