Greece hires Rothschild bank to navigate debt crisis

The Greek economy unexpectedly shrank in the three months to December, the latest figures show.

The upbeat statements from Athens came after the Greek and European statistics services showed that the Greek economy grew by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter a year ago, compared to forecasts of a 0.3 percent contraction.

Output fell by 0.4% in the final quarter of the year, compared with growth of 0.9% in the third quarter.

The year-on-year growth rate eased sharply to 0.3 percent from 2.2 percent.

In the role, Rothschild will reportedly advise the country on negotiations with creditors, potential inclusion in the European Central Bank's bond-buying programme, and the sale of Greek government bonds.

That is down from a first estimate of 0.5%.

Howard Archer, chief United Kingdom and Europe economist at IHS Markit, said: "A relapse in Greek GDP growth in the fourth quarter highlights the importance of successfully sorting out its bailout - and as quickly as possible". The quarterly expansion in the three months through September was adjusted to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent.

"However, uncertainties remain especially in the trade environment".

In the past two years, farmers have seen an increase in their insurance contributions as well as a rise in taxation while their income suffered due to the country's economic crisis.

According to the Financial Times, government officials in Greece hope to finalise the appointment before a gathering of euro-area finance ministers on 20 February.

But the eurozone, which has already given the country significant debt relief, is reluctant to go much further.

European Commission spokesperson Annika Breidthardt said the Commission was continuing to work in the direction of a speedy completion of the second review for the Greek bailout program.

  • Zachary Reyes