ECONOMY

Prem Watsa: Greek government is EU’s best

prem-watsa-greek-government-is-eu-s-best

The Greek economy will surprise observers with its growth in the years to come in the same way Ireland did in the past, Prem Watsa, the chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings, claimed on Friday.

In a fireside chat with Kathimerini’s Executive Editor Alexis Papachelas at the 6th Delphi Economic Forum, the experienced investor expressed his great optimism about Greece’s outlook: “There are huge opportunities in Greece,” he noted, stressing that despite having no access to the market as recently as three years ago, just a few days ago this country managed to issue a 30-year bond at a rate of below 2%, with considerable investor demand, as well as a five-year paper with a coupon next to zero.

“The country has recorded a dramatic change from the past; the political risk has gone down to zero and in my mind Greece is back! Three years ago I believed that would happen should there be business-friendly policies in place, and now this is a reality,” Watsa stated.

The head of Fairfax added that Greece’s recovery will be far greater than what the market and the eurozone institutions anticipate. He stressed that the country has experienced a period of great recession but will now record the strongest rebound in 2021 and 2022, adding that it reminds him of Ireland in 2011.

The Next Generation EU resources and the government reforms will bolster the Greek economy, he said, adding that there are many Greeks living abroad who will decide to return seeing this economic swing. He noted that had also been the case in his home country, India, which is now considered a land of opportunity.

Watsa praised the work of the Greek government, concerning both the pandemic and the reform of the economy, and described Kyriakos Mitsotakis as “a prime minister with experience.”

“You have the best government in Europe because it follows business-friendly policies that can create jobs,” noted Watsa, highlighting that the economy is opening up and it is becoming simple and easy for anyone to do business in Greece, and investors can see that.