FFE Magazine

Greece sees hope out of recession

by FFE EU News staff

A strong tourism and exports sector are seen to help Greece get a foothold after six years of recession. The Greek government on Monday presented a draft budget that forecasts a return to growth.

The 2014 predictions include a 0.6% growth in the economy and an improvement in employment by 1%.


Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras. Photo source: Orestis Panagiotou

Deputy finance minister Christos Staikouras said ‘This year, the sacrifices have begun to bear fruit, giving the first signs of an exit from the crisis.’

The government, which has been bailed out twice by international agencies, is now experiencing a turning point after threatening the future of the Euro zone.

A number of economics experts are also showing a vote of confidence for Greece. Hedge fund billionaire John A. Paulson said ‘The Greek economy is improving, which should benefit the banking sector.’ Professor of European economy and politics at Athens University George Pagoulatos added that Greece’s plan is feasible ‘as long as they stick to structural reforms and find some sort of solution to the debt.’

Officials of the so-called troika – the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund (IMF) – however are expected to make changes to the draft budget.

With a debt of 321 billion EUR, Greece continues to receive payments for second bailouts. However, minister Staikouras believes that the country may register a 2.8 billion EUR surplus for 2014, not counting debt financing.

The possibility of debt loss for Greece’s creditors have been ruled out by Germany, while the IMF is more open to it as there are few viable solutions for Greece. Billionaire investor George Soros said that ‘Everyone knows that Greece will never be able to pay off its debts.’

After a meeting with troika officials, the draft budget will go to a vote in the Greek parliament.

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