NEWS

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

TAGS: Politics

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

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.

Online