Policymakers at the heart of the Greek government went on the offensive this weekend, stating that the struggling euro zone nation would not need a further loan from its partners in the region and predicting a return to growth with the help of foreign investment.
"We expect that we are going to see positive growth for the first time in the third quarter," Gikas Hardouvelis, Greece's finance minister told CNBC at a meeting of euro zone officials in Milan.
The country was one of the first in Europe to be hit by the global financial crisis of 2008 and the full scope of its problems became apparent two years later. It helped spark the euro zone sovereign debt crisis. Greece needed to be bailed out by the rest of the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund, but now hopes to graduate from its loan program in 2016 without further assistance after six years of crippling recession.
"The (bailout) program did have benefits in the sense that lenders forced Greece to actually do structural reforms," Hardouvelis said. "(However) after a point one needs to do this on their own and to me structural reforms is something one ought to be vigilant (on) and the population has to own them."
His comments add to an interview with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras by Greece's Realnews newspaper on Sunday. Samaras said the country was beating its fiscal targets and would not need a third bailout from international creditors.