Greece’s former representative at IMF sees return to normality in 2018

To Vima — Panagiotis Roumeliotis, Greece’s former representative at the IMF and now president of Attica Bank, expressed the estimation that the country is returning to economic normalcy.

Roumeliotis said that Greece is gradually but stably rebounding in international markets.

He projected that after the end of the current bailout programme in August, 2018, Athens will be able to refinance its debt from the markets.

He said the constant decline of returns from 10-year bonds is proof positive that Greece has definitively escaped the dangers it faced in 2010.

Regarding the much-awaited debt restructuring, Roumeliotis said this can be done by extending the payment date for ESM loans and inter-state lending from EU partners until 2040 or even beyond that. 

He also noted the prospect of the ESM buying the more costly IMF loans to Greece.

Other measures are the continuation of the ECB’s bond-buying from the secondary market, and turning part of the debt to the ESM to stable interest rate loans, to avert a disaster from a rapid interest rate rise in the future.

Regarding the domestic banking system, Roumeliotis said the more the economic climate improves, the more easily Greek banks will gain access to international markets, so as to cover their needs and finance households and businesses.