ECONOMY

A bottom for Greece?s debt barrel

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Friday that decisions reached in Brussels on Thursday regarding Greece?s second rescue package will change the landscape of the country?s economy in the coming years, as ?a bottom has been attached to the barrel of the public debt.?

Venizelos stated that ?the Greek banking system is perhaps the most guaranteed in Europe, if not further afield,? as ?there is a very large umbrella of protection,? he told a press conference.

He added that Greek social security funds will participate in the rollover package, exchanging holdings of government bonds for new ones with 30-year maturities. He also mentioned that their portfolios contain bonds to the amount of 20 billion euros, whose value will remain the same.

He went on to call for the shipping community and diaspora Greeks to contribute to the rebound of the economy with their capital. ?Unless we make a national effort, we will not make it,? Venizelos said, reiterating his aim for Greece to return to growth in 2012.

However, despite the original excitement of the markets that sent stocks higher and bond spreads lower early yesterday, economists, bankers, journalists and investors began growing more reserved regarding the success of the package as they took a closer look at its details, with the euro shedding some of the gains it had registered on Thursday.

The question arising is whether this second package will be enough to stem the debt crisis in Greece after all, as well as the rest of the eurozone in general.