ECONOMY

Greece sees return to financial markets next year

Greece will start borrowing on financial markets again in the second half of 2014, the country’s deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras has said.

“There are strong signs that people’s sacrifices have started to yield fruit,” Staikouras said Thursday during a parliamentary debate on the draft budget for 2014, predicting that the debt-wracked country will next year emerge from six years of recession.

Staikouras also fended off criticism against the draft budget from Greece’s opposition parties as well as members of the government coalition.

Several officials within the New Democracy-PASOK power-sharing administration have voiced reservations on some of thornier measures in the budget, including property tax hikes and the lifting of a ban on home foreclosures.

Speaking in Parliament earlier Thursday, New Democracy MP Giorgos Vlachos accused Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras of dealing with the foreclosures issue in a “frivolous” and “amateurish” fashion.

Vlachos said he would nevertheless back the proposed budget.

The final vote is scheduled for midnight on Saturday.