Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (L) welcomes European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici in Athens, Greece, July 25, 2017. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
AHENS, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Greece's European partners want the debt-laden country to return to normality and will continue supporting its course to economic recovery, EU Commissioner for Economic and Finance Affairs Pierre Moscovici said here Tuesday.
The European official's visit to Greece coincided with the country's first test return to bond markets since the summer of 2014.
Athens opened a book issuing a five-year bond, the Greek Finance Ministry announced, aiming at securing a lower interest rate than the 4.9 percent Greece secured in the previous test return three years ago.
"Greece is slowly returning to markets, therefore we are entering a new stage in its relations with the EU and the international community," Moscovici said during a meeting with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, according to an e-mailed statement by the Greek Presidency.
"We want Greece to return to normality and stay on course. You can count on us," he stressed, praising the progress steps achieved and urging for further efforts to reach the finish line.
"We will fully meet our commitments... When the time comes our European partners will do what they have to do on the debt issue," Pavlopoulos said on his part.
The Commissioner urged Greece's lenders to fulfill their commitments regarding the Greek debt relief and Athens to stick to the reforms path, during a press conference at the European Commission's premises in the Greek capital.
"The creditors must respect the debt measures that have come to the Euro group. They are necessary to ensure stability and trust, since Greece is going to fully return to the markets," he said.
"I am firmly convinced that Greece can successfully complete the program in August 2018. I am also convinced that Greece can regain access to the markets with reasonable interest rates," Moscovici added.
"I will do my best to see Greece leave this program stronger and more stable," he underlined during the press briefing.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during a meeting with Moscovici that the EU official "is visiting Greece on a special day".
"It is the day that Greece successfully returns to the markets, and this is the most important message and the most essential step in concluding this unpleasant adventure of the memorandum," said the PM.
"Now it is the time to talk about Greece's future: how we will cooperate, how we will work in order to successfully conclude the program next year and plan the next day for Greece," Tsipras added.