Greece seen on the right path

Analysts and investors tell Delphi Economic Forum the economy must stay on track

Greece seen on the right path

Investors and financial analysts placed Greece halfway toward converging with the most developed economies during discussions on the second day of the Delphi Economic Forum on Thursday. Mapping out the next steps after stabilization and recovery, they converged on three pillars: stable government, investment grade and investment, along with reforms.

The message sent from the stage of the conference by the president and CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings, Prem Watsa, was clear: “Greece needs political stability and pro-business policies, as it is now. If it keeps it up, it’ll do really well. Those countries that have these two elements, political stability and pro-business policies, do exceptionally well.”

He noted that money is now flowing into the country through investments that reduce unemployment. He also noted that Greece has one of the best debt profiles in Europe, with a low interest rate and a long repayment period. Hence, he believes the country will regain investment grade “after the elections, in the next few months.”

The major shareholder of Eurobank spoke about the excellent capital adequacy of local banks. He even estimated they will not be affected by the uncertainty from the financial incidents in the United States and Switzerland, stressing that the Greek economy and its banking system come from a low base, “which is why Greece is currently the best stock market in the world.”

Eminent economist Nouriel Roubini emphasized the stability parameter for the continuation of the reform process, speaking of a significant shift in Greece’s economic policy in the last three years. “However, the work is not over yet,” he said, focusing on three main areas of modernization of the Greek system: upgrading the public administration, reforming the judiciary, but also better attracting innovation.

The former head of the Institute of International Finance, Charles Dallara, spoke of significant economic progress impressing investors with its high growth, good fiscal discipline and effective management of resources from the Recovery Fund, though many structural problems have not yet been resolved. 

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