Ministers engage in charm offensive abroad


Following the agreement at last week’s Eurogroup, the government is trying to make the most of the positive response in the bonds market and embarking on a series of meetings abroad seeking investors.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos departed for London on Wednesday to meet with investment firm representatives on Thursday and Friday. Economy Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou has traveled to the US and has already met with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and representatives of American companies and investment funds.

Both are attempting to broadcast a message of restored confidence and an upcoming rebound in the economy as – after failing to make the European Central Bank’s QE program – that is all Athens has left to woo investors with.

In statements on Wednesday Papadimitriou and Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Houliarakis dissociated the return to the bond markets from the QE: Houliarakis spoke of a trial return without making any time references, and Papadimitriou referred to expectations for the end of this year or early 2018. He told Bloomberg that QE would be more symbolic and not necessary for a market return.