ATHENS – A decision by Eurozone ministers of countries using the euro to disburse 725 million euros ($761.59 million) from profits of European banks holding Greek bonds was applauded by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis as a sign of the country’s accelerating recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today is a more optimistic day as the Eurogroup recognized the success of the Greek economy and the huge efforts of the Greek society,” he said, noting that the Eurogroup also abolished the increase foreseen in the interest rate of loans by the European Stability Mechanism.
What would happen to the Greek bond holding profits has been up in the air since the beginning of 2019 and he said the decision also “justifies an effective policy which supports the citizens, the employment and the growth,” said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANA-MPA.
The issue is a holdover from the dark days of austerity attached to three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($342.45 billion) that began in 2010 and ended in August, 2018.
Finance Minister Christos Staikouras also welcomed a landmark Eurogroup decision to activate debt settlement measures worth six billion euros ($6.3 billion) showing another optimistic sign for the economy.
“This decision acknowledges that following the country’s exit from the enhanced supervision status in August, a new chapter for the country and our economy – despite multiple external crises – with a positive course and favorable prospects has opened,” he said.
That was in reference to the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) ending its surveillance of the economy that was designed to make sure targets to hit to avoid triggering any automatic spending cuts.