Many agree that Greece has taken the brunt of the impact from the Great Recession’s effects in Europe, still recoiling from the sharp economic downturn even today. With a national debt currently measured in the hundreds of thousands, speculators have theorized widely-varying effects for both the short and long term. Some predict an oncoming Grexit, while others, noting Macron’s recent win in France, believe that Greece’s prospects are looking up.
While the broad strokes of the bailout’s effects on the euro remain hazy, the immediate aftermath of a recent decision has been able to offer some clarity to investors.
Euro on the Upturn?
In reality, the Greek GDP fell by 0.5% year-on-year in 2017’s first quarter, as told by government statisticians. Although, what seems to be having a greater effect on the euro itself is the new resolution between Greece and its creditors to unlock the next tranche of relief money. Late Monday, shortly after the agreement, the euro rose to 1.0911 from 1.0900, trading at its highest rate in five months. It is a continuation of the general upward swing of the euro, USD, and other global currencies in the wake of the French Election.
Last week, one of Greece’s primary creditors, the IMF announced that they would need more time to agree on a debt relief plan for the ailing country. Meanwhile, Greece was still struggling to make payments on bonds which are scheduled to mature this summer. However, the recent decision to continue the EURO86bn bailout program has instilled renewed confidence in the European economy, as the likelihood of the government defaulting has dropped drastically. Greek bond prices are on the rise, and finance experts expect the upward trend to continue into the near future.
The effect on other global currencies has been mixed. The ICE dollar traded slightly lower at 99.119, while the central bank is set to announce its decision this Wednesday. The Yen however experienced growth, to Yen112.11 from Yen111.84 in the span of a week, while the pound reached an intraday high at $1.2913. However, it is not clear in all cases whether these turns have more to do with the Greek bailout, the French Election, or American politics.
The Greek people continue to suffer from a general unemployment rate at 23.3 percent, and a skyrocketed youth unemployment rate which just rose to over 48%. The possibility of returning to a rate of growth seen prior to the global debt crisis seems slim, at least in the foreseeable future. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continues to rally creditors to follow through on their commitments, so that his country can begin to regain stability.