Credit Rating Upgrade Is Good News For Greece

A day after eurozone lenders finally released about $45 billion in loans to Greece, a top credit agency raised its rating on the country by a six points. It's a rare piece of good news for Greece, which still faces Depression-level unemployment and at least another year of recession.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Greece got a rare bit of good news late yesterday. Standard and Poor's upgraded the country's credit rating six notches to a B minus. I mean, not the worst grade on your report card, but in the financial world this is junk bond status.

Still, Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens that there is a more stable outlook.

JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: For a country used to bad news, the past few weeks have felt a little like Christmas. First, eurozone leaders agreed to a complex plan to lower Greek debt. Then, Greece bought back some of that debt from investors. Eurozone leaders were pleased - and finally released $45 billion in loans to the country.

Frank Gill leads the European Sovereign Ratings team for Standard and Poor's.

FRANK GILL: All these things taken together I think just shows a great determination by the eurozone to keep Greece in the monetary union.

KAKISSIS: And economist Gikas Hardouvelis says it's a vote of confidence for Greece.

GIKAS HARDOUVELIS: There is light at the end of the tunnel. And it will stay in the monetary union.

KAKISSIS: But Greece has a long and painful road ahead. The government is fragile, and unemployment - now more than 25 percent - is expected to rise next year.

For NPR News, I'm Joanna Kakissis in Athens.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: