News in Brief – July 2023
- Greek Economy – The Greek economy is expected to grow at a 2.2% rate this year before accelerating to a 3.0% rate next year, according to the Bank of Greece’s annual Monetary Policy Report. In separate remarks last month, Governor Yannis Stournaras predicted that Greece will soon regain its investment grade status.
- Debt Repayment – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pledged the early repayment of €5.3 billion worth of the country’s debt as part of Greece’s effort to regain its investment-grade credit rating. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Mitsotakis, who was elected to a second term last month, said the government aimed to shed its current junk investment grade status by the end of the year.
- Greece-Bulgaria Connection – The national power grid operators of Greece and Bulgaria have begun testing a new 400 kV electrical interconnector, representing the second high-voltage transmission corridor between the two countries. According to Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator, the 151 km cross border project, is expected to begin full commercial operations by the end of the summer.
- EuroAsia Interconnector − Greece’s national grid operator, IPTO, announced that it has taken a 25% stake in the 1,208 km long EuroAsia Interconnector, which will link the power grids of Israel and Cyprus with the European Union via the Greek island of Crete. Development of the €2.5 billion project is expected to be completed by 2027.
- Olive Production − Greek table olive production is on track for a bumper year in 2023, with production of the three main varieties − Amfissa, Kalamata, and Halkidiki – seen more than doubling from one year ago. According to estimates by Greece’s Interprofessional Table Olives Organisation, total production this year could reach a record 445,000 tons, compared to 215,000 tons in 2021-2022.
- Property Prices – Real estate prices continued to rise in the first months of 2023, with residential property prices rising 14.5% on average in the first quarter compared with a year earlier. According to the latest report from the Bank of Greece, apartment prices in Athens rose 16.5% in the January to March quarter. Recent data from online property portal Spitogatos shows that the average asking price of apartments is currently €2,070/m2.
- Elefsis Shipyards − The U.S. Congress has approved $125 million loan from the International Development Finance Corporation to ONEX Shipyards for the consolidation of Elefsis Shipyards. ONEX, which already controls the shipyards on the island of Syros, will use the funds to upgrade and revitalize the facility in Elefsis, increasing its service capacity to up to 200 ships per year. When fully operational, ONEX Elefsis Shipyards aims to be the largest shipyard in the country.