On Thursday, Greece held its first bond sale since 2010, raising $4.2 billion as investors flocked to secure bonds from the hard hit country. Greece, which stopped issuing bonds in 2010 amid their country’s economic crisis, has hailed this bond sale as a sign that the country is recovering and heading in the right direction. Investors seemed to agree with this outlook, as their high demand reduced the return rates on the bonds to 4.95%, lower than the Greek government had first anticipated. The optimism around the bond sale has encouraged some that Greece is finally beginning to emerge from the financial crisis, although it must be remembered that this is only a small step in the recovery.
Greece has struggled to deal with the financial crisis, which led the country to take over $330 billion worth of bailouts and implement various austerity measures in attempt to fix the country’s finances. The government’s bond sale is a return to international markets for Greece, and a step toward the country reducing its dependence on foreign aid, a crucial step to regain confidence from investors and other countries. The bond sale’s success is a reason for optimism in Greece and throughout Europe, as it not only shows investors renewed confidence in the Greek economy, but also in the Eurozone's recovery in general.
While the bond sale is seen as a positive sign for Greece, problems still remain in the country where the unemployment rate is over 27%. There has been push back from Greek citizens for much of the recovery process, specifically over tax increases and austerity measures. There are also structural issues in the Greek economy that have not been addressed, which threaten to stop any signs of recovery that the country is seeing. Greece is also still viewed as the most vulnerable country in the Eurozone, in the event that Europe’s growth slows down, as Greece’s fragile economy has been dependent on the European Union’s aid. With an important visit from Germany’s Angela Merkel upcoming, Greece’s bond sale has shown that the country is taking the steps to climb out of its crisis, although there is much more work to be done.