Domestic and foreign investors are looking at Greece with renewed interest, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview to Bloomberg on Thursday, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Mitsotakis said it's the first time investors say there is a convincing narrative for investments in the country, adding that his government defeated populists from both the right and left on a center-right agenda, providing a very positive signal to other European parties.
Markets have responded well to developments in Greece, he said, particularly during the last six months. "Look at our bond returns," he told the two journalists interviewing him, who commented that the returns were actually 'miraculous'.
"We have a stable government, there are no elections for the next 3.5 years, we have an absolute majority, and we are implementing real reforms, so why shouldn't (such a thing) happen," the Greek prime minister said. He said investment interest had been shown by large US technology companies, and that Pfizer was setting up an IT center in Greece to take advantage of Greek talent. These show that Greece is not just about tourism, but about a country exiting the crisis at an accelerated pace.
Mitsotakis said that his government's target is "attracting 100-billion-euro investments to Greece in the next seven or eight years."
Relations with Turkey
On relations with Turkey, he said that Ankara has adopted a particularly aggressive stance and signed an unacceptable agreement with the government of Tripoli. "We have sincerely said we want a good and constructive relationship with Turkey, but Turkey's overall behavior is very aggressive," the premier said. "They signed an agreement with Libya that is entirely unacceptable for Greece, on the delineation of maritime zones. It's an illegal agreement, the EU has said so, and so has the United States." Therefore, he underlined, there is a continuous series of provocations that will lead nowhere for Turkey.
He also pointed out that it is unacceptable to use people in despair like refugees into a tool for geopolitical purposes, as Turkey is doing by threatening to release a new wave of refugees and migrants to Europe.
"We have an agreement, as European Union, with Turkey," Mitsotakis said, "which can work well, and has worked well in the past, and we must persist in it." The agreement must be updated and the migrant issue must be decoupled from other issues, he said, which is doable.