Bank of Greece (BoG) Gov. Yannis Stournaras last week pointed to a restoration of the country’s investment grade status, which was kicked off last October by S&P, emphasizing that the development means a return to normalcy and the start of “a new effort to boost the Greek people’s prosperity.”

Speaking at an annual New Year’s cake-cutting event at the central bank’s headquarters in downtown Athens, the influential BoG chief said the “sacrifices of our fellow citizens during the difficult crises years, along with the unprecedented support of our European partners and reforms and responsible policies by (Greek) governments, have results.”

Referring to the milestone last autumn, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) noted that “…Greece has achieved an important milestone in its recovery from a painful debt crisis more than a decade ago. After 13 years, Greece regained investment grade in its credit rating from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings.”