Greek Minister of Economy and Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis spoke to Reuters news agency Wednesday stressing that the government planned to complete the sale of its stakes in banks by the end of the year.

In his interview with Reuters, Hatzidakis estimated that the bank de-investment would mark a record in revenue from privatizations, adding that the economy would rebound stronger.

“We had significant interest from many investors, so we want to complete this process by the end of the year,” he pointed out.

The Greek Minister said the country had regained its status as an appealing opportunity for international investors as a result of its investment upgrade, with its economy expanding at much higher rates than the eurozone average.

The Greek state in recent months, sold all equities in three major banks, which it possessed via the Financial Stability Fund, raising more than 2 billion euros. It still holds a stake of 18.4% in the National Bank and 72% in the smaller Attica Bank, which will be divested in the coming months.

“Based on the agreement we have with creditors; we can continue the divestment process until the end of 2025. We see no reason to delay,” Hatzidakis underscored.

“We are determined to continue, more or less, in the same way, proceeding with all necessary structural reforms, sending the message that this country is investment-friendly,” Mr. Hatzidakis said.

Hatzidakis outlined a series of privatization policies the government had initiated to attract investors and bolster state revenues. These included the sale of 30% of Athens International Airport last month which brought 790 million euros to the state coffers, while it expected revenues of 4.6 billion euros from the concessions of the Egnatia and Attiki Odos highways.

He added that the government expects revenues of 7.1 billion euros from privatizations completed or underway in the last eight months, easily surpassing the target of 5.7 billion euros for 2024.

The economic growth rate reached 2% last year, slightly below the government’s forecast, compared to 0.4% on average in the eurozone. It is expected to reach 2.9% this year thanks to increased tourism revenues, investment boost, and strong domestic demand.

“The Greek economy was, is, and will be a positive surprise for Europe,” Mr. Hatzidakis said.

He added that he wants to attract more investments in green energy, logistics, and tourism to bridge the gap with other eurozone countries.

Referring to the Golden Visa scheme, the minister said that the threshold would be raised for foreign investors from 500,000 to 800,000 euros for major cities and popular islands, to 400,000 euros for other areas, while it would be set at 250,000 euros for protected areas.