National Bank of Greece (NBG) President Gikas Hardouvelis, a former Greek finance minister during tumultuous economic implosion before 2015, was the latest top executive in the country to downplay the ongoing crisis’ impact on the domestic economy.

Hardouvelis spoke on Wednesday during the second day of the two-day inaugural OT Forum – “A Changing World” – a studio-themed and open format conference live-streamed from the old Athens Stock Exchange in the Greek capital’s downtown.

The NBG president said that while uncertainty today is great, his assessment is that the worst-case economic and fiscal “scenarios” will not play out.

Additionally, as one of the “old hands” in the nearly decade-long economic, social and political crises that plagued Greece after 2009, Hardouvelis said the current crisis can in no way be compared to what Greek citizens experienced in the very recent past. For instance, he reminded, that during the bailout years Greek GDP was slashed by a quarter, while the Covid-19 pandemic – which erupted in the economy’s recovery phase – deducted anther 9 percent from the country’s GDP.

“Today we’re simply talking about a downturn in the rate of growth, and an increase in inflation, compared to what was initially forecast,” he said, in answer to press questions.

Finally, he forecast a GDP growth rate, on an annualized basis, reaching 3 percent this year, under the condition that the war caused in Ukraine by Russia ends by the summer.