Athens Digest 06.07.2018

• Centeno reassures investors that Greek bonds are safer

• Medium term relief measures secure long term sustainability says Public Debt Management Agency

• Opposition parties call for freeze on pension cuts in acrimonious Parliament debate

• Poll shows ND maintains steady lead, while 7 in 10 against Macedonia name deal

# Eurogroup President Mario Centeno sought to assure international investors yesterday, saying that Greece’s debt has become more favorable. Speaking to CNBC, Centeno said that debt deal Greece struck with the Eurogroup last month has allayed concerns of investors and that the benchmark 10-.year Greek government bond is less risky “I am sure it is and it will be even more so after August 20,” he said.

# Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) says that medium term Greek debt relief measures which were agreed in the Eurogroup secure its long term sustainability. They bring gross financing needs below 20 percent of the GDP till 2060. You may find PDMA’s report here.

# As leaders engaged in a heated extremely polarized debate, including personal attacks, on post-bailout austerity in Greece, opposition parties challenged the government to freeze planned pension cuts that will take effect on January 1, 2019. More specifically, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the submission of an amendment calling for a freeze in the planned pension cuts that will take effect on January 1 as of 2019. Center-left Democratic Alliance also submitted a proposal for legislation that would revoke the cuts. For his part, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Tsipras defended the Eurogroup deal amid accusations from opposition leaders that third bailout could have been avoided.

# Main opposition New Democracy has a 9.8 percentage point lead over ruling Syriza according to the biannual survey by MRB polling company, which also showed that seven in 10 do not back the recent Macedonia name deal. The nationwide survey of 2,000 people (the sample is double compared to usual polls), showed that ND would gather 31% of the vote if the elections were held today as opposed to Syriza with 21% – a slight increase in its lead from 9.4% in December 2017. As for the FYROM name deal, 68.3 percent said they opposed it compared to 12.8 percent which supported it and 12.9 percent who were neutral.

On Our Radar: CEOs in Greece say snap elections and lower taxation will boost economy
Almost half of CEOs and General Managers believe early elections will have a positive impact on the economy. According to a survey among more than 3000 CEOs and GMs of top companies in Greece released by the Association of Chief Executive Officers (EASE) and ICAP, a staggering 44% said snap elections would be beneficial. The research is conducted every quarter to register the views and forecasts of executives about the country’s economic situation and its industries. Moreover, an overwhelming 95% said that a tax reduction on businesses would be a positive thing, as opposed to… 1% who said it wouldn’t.