Greece could be included in ECB’s QE in June; 2017 will bring growth, says Economy minister

Greece could be included in the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program at the beginning of June if a final agreement on Greece’s second program review is achieved on May 22, Economy and Development Minister Dimitri Papadimitriou said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonia News Agency on Sunday, adding 2017 will be a year of economic growth.

“What we are aiming for, is to have a decision at the Eurogroup on [May] 22 – don’t forget that the procedure for debt relief has started – and we believe that on May 22 we will have a final agreement. This will immediately allow, a week later or in a short period of time, for Greece to be included in the quantitative easing. The decision is expected at the beginning of June,” he said, adding this will boost entrepreneurship and encourage investments from abroad.

Asked about the still elusive economic growth in Greece, he said 2017 will be a year of economic development. “The real economy is showing some positive signs. It is not what we expected, we expect a lot more and this year – 2017- will be a year of real growth. There’s a rise in employment – not as much as we expected – but don’t forget that this happened despite the fact that the review had not concluded and there was still uncertainty,” he said.

Commenting on the future of power utility PPC, as outlined in the deal with the country’s creditors, Papadimitriou said the government “never wanted to sell PPC units” but the final ruling of the European Court of Justice and its ratification by the European Commission “does not leave much room for us”.