Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Friday welcomed Greece's credit rating upgrade by Fitch, saying it was more international acknowledgement of the country's efforts to exit the debt crisis. "Greek peoples' sacrifice is bearing fruit. They are internationally acknowledged. We must safeguard the results," Stournaras said, noting that Fitch is one of the strictest credit rating agencies worldwide and that the terms it uses in its latest report on the state of Greek economy are "remarkable." Fitch upgraded Greece's credit rating from B- to B, referring to an "admirable fiscal adjustment," pointing to recent positive developments such as the achievement of a primary surplus for first time since the start of the crisis in 2009. Fitch's announcement ahead of Sunday's elections for local councils and the euro parliament, according to analysts in Athens, strengthens the conservative-led government coalition's argument that the tough austerity and reform program implemented in return for international bailout loan is leading to Greece's exit from its debt crisis.