LAGONISSI, Greece (AP) — Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said Thursday that his country will return to markets with or without the support of the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program.
Tsakalotos said qualifying for the ECB’s quantitative easing program, which has helped keep a lid on the market rates of the other 18 euro countries, would have a largely “symbolic” effect. Greece has been excluded from the program partly because the ECB wants more information about potential debt relief measures for the country.
“I wouldn’t elevate it too high … It would be very useful. It is important, but mostly in symbolic terms,” Tsakalotos said at a financial conference near Athens.
“What we need to do is ensure is that the investment community knows there will be a program of access to the markets,” he said.
Tsakalotos said the government is mindful of not tapping markets “too early” and that investors know it’s not going to be a one-off.
“But when we do go, we want to ensure that the markets know that it’s part of a strategy of going two, three, four times so they understand not the details but the process,” he said.
Greece is eyeing a return to international bond markets for the second time since the country lost access in 2010 and had to seek successive bailouts from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to speak at the conference later Thursday.
Interest rates on Greek bonds have fallen sharply since rescue lenders promised this month to restart paying loan installments,…
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