The Greek finance minister Yannis Stournas has said that the worst is over for his country and that there is now a glimmer of hope that Greece will finally drag itself back onto the road of recovery.
Rushed through reforms by the Greek government combined with a massive austerity programme have finally begun to bear fruit as commentators now believe that the possibility of a Greek exit from the Eurozone is now remote.
Stournas said; “There is definitely a glimmer of hope, light at the end of the tunnel. We have managed to turn the economy around. From the markets, that’s much more optimism. Deposits are coming back to the banks, the government is paying its arrears to the private sector and there is a change in the way Europe sees us. So all the leading indicators are positive, we are two-thirds of the way towards our target. People can hope.
‘Towards the last quarter of 2013, we are going to have a recovery; I feel sure, 100% that this will be the last year of Greece’s recession.”
Greece has barely survived the past year after having to need several huge bailouts from its partners in the Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund. Austerity has devastated the nation’s economy and has seen unemployment soar to record highs. Civil unrest is an almost daily occurrence in the capital of Athens.
Greece’s debt now stands at 180% of GDP this year with the government facing the difficult task of reducing it to its target of 124% by 2020. A target the IMF does not believe Athens will hit.
Stournas criticised the austerity driven approach that was forced upon his country by its creditors saying; “Greece was forced to cut too far too fast, in hindsight, we should have placed more emphasis on structural reforms and privatisations at the start. But we can’t go back. There’s no point crying over spilt milk, The Eurozone was not prepared for the crisis.”
The ministers optimistic opinion will surely be tested as signs indicate that Greece’s problems are far from over. Civil unrest has once again to flare up and he will have to tackle the stiff resistance he will surely face when trying to force through even more austerity.
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