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Despite COVID-19, Fitch's Ratings Sees Greek Economic Comeback

Αssociated Press

A man with an umbrella walks during a rainfall on Pnyx hill in front the ancient Acropolis hill, with the ruins of the fifth century BC Parthenon temple, in Athens, on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

A shrinking economy and uncertainty over how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last hasn’t deterred Fitch Ratings from expecting a Greek recovery bolstered by the Next Generation European Union fund.

Greece still is on the hook for 326 billion euros ($393.14 billion) in three international bailouts to prop up an economy battered by years of wild overspending and patronage, payments to be made for decades.

But the ratings agency, during an online debate about the impact of the Coronavirus, was still heady about the prospects of a comeback for Greece even though there’s worry about what will happen with tourism, the main revenue engine.

The agency’s analysts stressed what matters most is not debt levels but debt momentum, and mainly the cost of servicing it, which in Greece as well as the rest of the bloc is low.

The agency also noted the constant support of the European Central Bank’s emergency bond buying program (PEPP) and the EU fund that provided 32 billion euros ($38.59 billion) in loans and grants to combat the pandemic’s effect.

The big question is the one that’s a constant in Greece, whether the government - in this case the New Democracy Conservatives - can channel the funds effectively and fast and also lure more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) said Kathimerini.