Mitsotakis to Bloomberg: Early Repayment of Bailout Loans

The latest early repayment of bailout-era loans by Greece was announced on Wednesday by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself, who told Bloomberg that eight billion euros will soon be reimbursed ahead of their maturity.

Speaking in a videotaped interview with the global financial news network, Mitsotakis pointed to an ongoing economic recovery in the country, as he said, that has witnessed a recovery from its nearly 10-year debt and economic crisis.

According to Bloomberg, the figure announced corresponds to three years of loan installments. If it materializes, it will be the third time that Mitsotakis’ government has approved the repayment of bailout loans before their expiration, as 5.3 billion euros of payments were accelerated last November. Another seven billion euros in loans were repaid in February 2022.

“We’ve achieved a lot since our re-election,” Mitsotakis said, referring to the national polls of 2023, which gave his New Democracy government a second term in office.

He highlighted the move as a strong signal to financial markets of Greece’s economic recovery. Despite lowering its 2024 growth target to 2.5% from 2.9%, Greece is still outperforming average EU growth forecasts, he noted.

Mitsotakis, an economist himself, noted a strong market appetite for Greek assets, saying this reflects confidence in the government’s stability and long-term economic plans.

Under his leadership, he noted, Greece has regained investment-grade status, and even though debt remains high, it is expected to decline to 152.7% of GDP this year from 207% in 2020.

The early repayment will be funded partly by Greece’s cash buffer. The government aims for a primary surplus of 2.1% of GDP this year and in 2025. Additionally, Greece will continue to push privatization initiatives, Mitsotakis said, including the sale of stakes in major banks and ports.