Greece's painful fiscal adjustment and reform program "nears its end," Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis told an Athens forum on Wednesday.
Greek Finance Ministry sources also confirmed an imminent return of the country to international financing markets for a second time this year since resorting to an EU/IMF rescue mechanism four years ago.
Greek officials told reporters speaking anonymously without specifying a time. They said an official announcement from Greece's public debt management organization ODDIH on the opening of books would be made by Thursday.
Greece, according to Finance Ministry sources, hopes to sell up to 3 billion euros (4.08 billion U.S. dollars) worth of three-year state bonds at a 3.3 percent to 3.5 percent interest rate. In a previous sale of five-year bonds in April, the first since 2010, Athens secured a 4.9 percent interest rate.
The latest return to markets is considered by Greek officials as another strong bargaining tool for the country in the new round of talks with representatives of international lenders starting on Thursday in Athens as part of a regular review of Greek finances under bailout deals, local analysts noted.
Addressing the forum, Hardouvelis outlined the Finance Ministry's priorities in the coming months regarding policies that need to be implemented to help boost growth and social cohesion on the path to economic recovery.
"The year 2014 marks the start of Greece's return to development," Hardouvelis said on Wednesday, adding that in order to pick up the pace emphasis is being put on the need to further boost the liquidity of the banking system and to effectively manage private debt along with public debt.
Athens is focusing on opening up more closed markets and reducing bureaucracy to attract more investments through the ongoing privatization program which will help ease unemployment, he said.
The minister also pledged a new simple, fair and stable taxation system.