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Stournaras Sees 2014 Greek Market Return

stournarasGreek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, continuing to champion a recovery he said will begin next year, now also says the country may return then to the bond markets it has been locked out of since getting bailouts and stiffing investors with 74 percent losses under a previous PASOK administration.
He cautioned that it would happen only if the economy, about to enter a seventh year of recession, can start to grow against the odds and if a primary surplus – excluding interest on debt, city and town budgets, social security expenditures, state enterprises and some military costs – permits, as he expects.
“We are preparing a return to the markets in the second half of 2014,” Yannis Stournaras said in an interview published in the Realnews weekly.  Since accepting what turned into two bailouts of $325 billion from international lenders, which will run out next year, Greece has been able to issue only short-term public notes, initially at exorbitant rates.
Government forecasts predict a primary budget surplus of 3 billion euros ($4 billion) next year, after a surplus of 812 million euros this year. It also figures on a return to growth, of 0.6 percent, after six years of recession.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, however, calculates the Greek economy is set for yet another contraction, of 0.4 percent and many other analysts concur that the math is hopelessly against a recovery, although Stournaras and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said it will happen and have been beating the drum relentlessly about it.
Greece’s Troika of creditors, the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) are still in negotiations with Stournaras over a hole as big as 2.9 billion euros in the 2014 budget, which he disputes and said any shortages could be recouped by finally going tax cheats after letting them escape for decades and expanding the tax base, although revenues are far off projection because of big pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions.

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