Stournaras: Were it not for the pandemic, Greece would enjoy investment grade


Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras appeared certain on Thursday that were it not for the pandemic, Greece’s credit rating would have returned to investment grade. He also reiterated his certainty that the European Central Bank will not withdraw its support for Greek bonds after the conclusion of the PEPP bond-buying program next year.

Speaking on Bloomberg TV, the central banker estimated that Greece’s growth rate will exceed 7%, while next year’s gross domestic product will come to 5%.

He stressed the significant progress Greece has recorded and added that the ECB Governing Council, of which he is a member, will discuss the inclusion of Greek sovereign bonds in future quantitative easing programs, from which it has so far been excluded.

As PEPP is scheduled to end in March 2022, Frankfurt is already examining a new bond-buying program so as to avoid any unrest in the bonds market.

He went on to note that an early ECB rate increase is “not on the table,” and reiterated his view that the increase in inflation is temporary.