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Economy

Oh, the Irony: Greece’s Economy Steadily Rolls On While World Rocks

May 29, 2024

ATHENS – Turbulence in world markets isn’t being felt in Greece, where the economy is accelerating, and another record tourism year looms, with foreign investors – led by luxury resorts and hotels – lining up to cash in.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told an audience at the Conference of the International Organization of Capital Market Supervisory Authorities that the country’s performance continues to exceed the European average.

That includes Germany, the biggest economy in the 27-member European Union and which was the biggest lender to Greece, which needed three international bailouts of €326 billion ($353.88 billion) from 2010-18 to stave off collapse.

He had some caveats. “Despite the image of normalization of the situation, we are not yet out of danger,” he said, reported the business paper Naftemporiki, with Greece needing decades to repay what’s left of the bailouts.

Still, while the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has roiled economies and especially the energy sector, he said that the capital markets have been resilient, with the Athens Stock Exchange bringing dividends to investors.

He also acknowledged the problems of stubborn inflation and high food prices that his New Democracy government hasn’t been able to rein in despite fining domestic companies and multinationals for profiteering, persuading the European Commission to intervene.

He also said it’s important for financing measures for small-and-medium-sized enterprises and said there should be common rules and standards in the EU and noted that there’s still volatility in the energy field.

Greece, though, is standing steady after almost being forced out of the 20-member Eurozone of countries using the euro as a currency during the depths of the crisis that also brought harsh austerity measures to workers, pensioners, and the poor.

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