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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Greek assets have been on fire this year, and more particularly in the past two weeks as investors position for a more business-friendly government to take the reins from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Why it matters: After years of being viewed as a market pariah — thrice bailed out by its eurozone creditors, limping from one austerity budget to the next — Greece last year began its road to economic recovery, with "positive developments" noted by an IMF monitor. (Though it is still the fund's 3rd largest borrower after Argentina and Ukraine.)

Driving the news: Tsipras' far-left Syriza party suffered massive defeats in European Parliament elections on May 26, and the government called for snap elections by June 30.

  • Greece's benchmark stock exchange has surged 38% year-to-date and an MSCI collection of its largest companies has gained 28%, outpacing every major stock index in the world, data from FactSet shows.
  • Much of that has come in the weeks since the May 26 ballot.

The big picture: Bonds globally have performed well, but Greece has seen particularly rousing returns. Yields on 10-year notes fell to record lows after the election results and have continued to drop. (Yields fall as prices rise.)

  • The yield spread between 10-year Greek government debt and its German equivalent has fallen to just 300 basis points, even with German yields at all-time lows well below 0%.
  • Greece's 5-year government bond yields earlier this month were lower than comparable Italian bonds for the first time since 2008.

"The decline since the start of the year is remarkable, with Datastream data showing that the yield dipped below 2% for the first time since the series started in 1997," analysts at Fathom Consulting note.

  • It's all the more impressive given that Greece issued a 10-year bond with a yield of around 3.9% in March.
  • GDP has returned to growth, rising an estimated 2.1% in 2018 with an IMF forecast of 2.4% in 2019 after years of declines.

Yes, but: Greece's economic numbers have not been spectacular all around. Its current account deficit rose significantly in March and its unemployment rate remains an elevated 18% — well below the 28.4% record high reported in February 2014, but still almost double 2009 levels of 9.7%.

Go deeper: Europe moves on from financial crisis, but Greece is still recovering

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”