Greece needs to come clean on debt levels, says bonds investor

7 Jul 15

Millionaire investor Paul Kazarian, who is buying up Greek bonds, has said that any future prosperity in the country is dependent on the government being clear about its debt levels to increase trust and confidence.

Kazarian told CIPFA’s international seminar in London that people failed to pay their taxes and invest in the country because they “did not have trust in the government”.

Restoring this needs to be Greece’s first priority, he said, and their specific action was needed to make the country’s finances more transparent and accountable.

“People may not understand it, but they want to know where the money went,” he said.

In particular, the Greek government needed to adopt International Public Sector Accounting Standards so the politicians “could not make up its own numbers”.

He added: “The accurate debt number really, really matters. You may ask, why does a number on a piece of paper matter?

“The answer is that it is driving policy. A single number on a sheet, for example, determines how spending and revenue policy are designed by the troika. They are actually driving the policy based on the debt number.”

In addition, Greece doesn’t qualify for the ECB’s quantitative easing programme because of current measure of the country’s debt.

To overcome this, he said accountants and auditors must work together to help Greece make better decisions, by educating economists in the country, politicians and stakeholders. 

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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