In an interview for the Sunday edition of To Vima the president of Piraeus Bank Michalis Sallas underlined that the apparent agreement between the Greek government and the country’s creditors is crating the necessary prospects for an economic recovery and exit from the crisis.
Although Mr. Sallas recognizes the undisputable heavy cost of the agreement, particularly on certain social groups, he noted that the measures being implemented are in the right direction.
According to the Piraeus Bank president, the pension and tax reforms are instrumental in securing a primary surplus, which is in turn paramount in order to create wealth and enter a positive economic growth cycle. Mr. Sallas appeared confident that the fiscal targets set until 2018 can be achieved.
The Piraeus Bank president was dismissive of the IMF’s reservations and demand for contingency measures, stressing that are pointless, since measures are already being taken and the agreement has yet to be implemented. The implementation of the agreement will bring the much-needed stability to the economy that will attract investments.
During the interview Mr. Sallas agreed with PM Alexis Tsipras, who likened the Greek economy to a coiled spring that is ready to be released. He estimated that the sectors of energy, tourism and agricultural manufacturing will attract serious investments.
Furthermore Mr. Sallas expects the economic climate to improve when non-performing loans are finally addressed as part of the agreement. He explained that business will improve their efforts if they see an overall improvement in the country’s finances. To that he reported that there has been a decline is such loans in his bank in the current and past two trimesters.
Finally, the Piraeus Bank president commented that the gradual relaxation of the capital controls will also contributed towards the improvement of trade in Greece, by restoring overseas transactions, imports/exports and cash flows.