Staikouras: New bond Issue Probable in either June or July

ATHENS – Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said that Greece will probably tap the markets again within the next two months, in an interview with Action24 TV late on Wednesday.

Specifically, he said there will likely be a new bond issue in June or July, while stressing the importance of "regular communication" with the markets. He explained that the funds raised from bond issues form part of the amounts spent on support measures. Given that not a single euro of European funds has flowed in so far, he added, the money comes from budget revenues, the cash reserves of government entities and T-bills.

He added that budget revenues in May diverged significantly from targets but noted that there were "no unpleasant surprises", while regarding the possibility of a loan from European Stability Mechanism (ESM), he said that it was "another available weapon in our arsenal, so that if the need arises, [this] can be evaluated at the appropriate time."

Asked about the depth of the recession this year, he replied that there has so far been no change to forecasts for a 13.2 pct of GDP reduction without taking any measures and a decline of up to 8 pct after measures are taken.

On the updating these figures, he said this would take into account Greece's GDP performance in the first quarter (due to be published on Thursday by ELSTAT), the execution of the budget over the summer, as well as any disbursements from the EU "Recovery Fund" this year.

In the event of a resurgence of the pandemic in the autumn, he said, "we have incorporated this into the unfavourable scenario, so that resources are available in September as well."



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