Tsipras says Greece to positively surprise world economy in 2016


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said investor trust in the Greek economy is returning as the country’s asset- sales fund announced the privatization of the port of Piraeus.

“I believe 2016 will be the year that Greece will surprise the world economic community,” Tsipras said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Davos Wednesday. “Even though the last year was a challenging year for Greece and Europe, I think that we have big opportunities ahead.”

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund announced Wednesday the sale of a 67 stake in Piraeus Port Authority to Cosco Pacific Ltd. for 386.5 million euros ($421 million), with the deal expected to bring in 1.5 billion euros.

“I believe that we are in a critical point, a critical point to recover,” said Tsipras, 41, stressing the need to wrap up review talks with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

”The sooner we will have a successful conclusion of the first review, the better for recovery, the better for the European economy as a whole,” Tsipras said. “I’m confident all our partners want a timely conclusion of the review and I’m confident that they want a successful and timely conclusion of the review because they can understand that time is part of our strategy.”

‘Vicious circle’

Greece is currently in discussions with its creditors over a pension overhaul needed to unblock the next tranche of its bailout loan.

The country must improve its proposals in order to move ahead with its bailout program and start discussions on easing its debt burden, EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in an interview earlier Wednesday, also in Davos.

If Greece manages to conclude the review soon, Tsipras said, it “will leave the vicious circle and will come back to growth soon.”

Tsipras is set to meet with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.