Greece will today attempt to sell a five-year bond - marking its first return to the debt markets in three years.

The country has been almost entirely dependent on bailout loans since 2010 - but is hoping a successful sale today will start them on the long road of returning to normal market financing.

"This is the beginning of a process for Greece," said Eugene Kiernan, head of investment strategy at Appian Asset Management. "I think it's on a path of trying to be less dependent on the bailout and more open to the markets."

He added that today's sale is as much a political move as a financial one, with the Greek government likely to want to show progress is being made ahead of any future general election.

Greece is hoping the rate secured today will improve upon the 4.95% it reached at its last bond sale in 2014 - with 4.7% being signalled as a likely target.

By comparison, Ireland recently sold a five year bond of its own at a negative interest rate - meaning the country is being paid for taking on debt.

According to Mr Kiernan, that is a signal of the massive improvements this country has made in its financial situation since the days of the PIIGS.

"We've made huge progress here on the fiscal front and that's reflected in those bond yields," he said. "But it also reflects the overall picture on bond yields in the euro zone in general. We've benefited from the general trend but there's no doubt we've made progress ourselves."

The context of that general picture is the European Central Bank's massive bond buying programme - which has helped to push yields down across the euro zone.

That has made it quite a good time to sell bonds - though the question now is when the ECB's monetary policy will begin to tighten up.

"It's a very interesting period for the ECB, I think the next 12 months or so they will begin to communicate to markets that they'll want to move away from the very accommodative stance," said Eugene Kiernan. "They'll begin to communicate that in such a way that it doesn't unnerve the markets because - as we've see in the US with the so-called 'taper tantrum' - markets don't like to be surprised by a change in policy."

That process will mark the beginning of the end for the ECB's Quantitative Easing programme, he said, though it's likely that interest rates will remain low for a considerably longer time.

But one factor that may put a fire under the ECB in terms of making a move on either front is the euro, which has strengthened considerably against the dollar and sterling in recent weeks.

"There's no doubt to me that the last thing [the ECB] would want is a currency that is moving in the opposite direction to what they would want from the rest of their processes in terms of the bond-buying and being accommodative," he said. "So they will take account of the currency were it to move much further from here."