Newsletter December,2023,12


Also in this issue:

News in Brief – December 2023

  • Credit Upgrade – International ratings agency Fitch Ratings returned Greece to investment grade, raising its sovereign debt one notch to BBB- from BB+ and with a stable outlook. The company cited the country’s favorable debt dynamics and the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation as reasons for the upgrade. The move follows recent upgrades by S&P, DBRS Morningstar and Scope Ratings, who have also returned Greece to investment grade.

  • Debt Repayment – Greece repaid €5.3 billion in loans owed to its Eurozone partners ahead of schedule, the latest move by the government to retire the country’s outstanding sovereign debt. The loans stem from the country’s first bailout in 2010 and were due to mature in 2024 and 2025. Greece has already paid back all of its outstanding loans from the IMF.

  • Greek GDP – Greece’s economy grew at a 2.1% year-on-year rate in the third quarter, according to the latest data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority. For the full year, the Greek government budget forecasts GDP growth of 2.4% in 2023 – three times the Eurozone average – before accelerating to a 2.9% rate next year.

  • Jobs Growth – Greece’s unemployment rate fell to 9.6% in October from 11.8% a year earlier – the lowest since before the country’s economic crisis. The last time that Greece’s unemployment rate was below 10% was in August 2009 at the onset of the crisis.

  • Greece-Turkey – Greece and Turkey signed 15 bilateral agreements and joint declarations during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Athens. The agreements cover a broad expanse of cooperative initiatives, ranging from education to customs controls, and from trade to tourism, including visa-free entry for Turkish visitors to Greece. The visit and related bilateral agreements are seen as signals for a more cooperative relationship between the two countries.

  • COP28 – Greece participated at the COP28 Climate Conference in Dubai with its first ever national pavilion, highlighting 25 different initiatives the country is pursuing to promote clean energy and a sustainable future. The pavilion was opened by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who announced a new special sustainable Greek island project for the island of Poros. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with UAE-based Masdar/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, which will collaborate on the Poros island project.

  • Export Greece – Greece has set as a target the further strengthening of extroversion with the aim of increasing exports to 60% of GDP by 2027 and 70% of GDP by 2030, Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said in a speech to Greek and American business leaders, up from about 50% currently. A special working group has been set up by the government to look at fresh incentives for innovation and business growth.

  • LNG Facility – Greece welcomed the arrival of its first floating LNG storage and regasification unit that will be anchored roughly 17 kilometers off the port of Alexandroupolis and will be linked via an underwater pipeline to Greece’s natural gas grid. The new unit is Greece’s second LNG facility and will further enhance the country’s ability to supply natural gas to its neighbors in Southeastern Europe.