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Greece reports budgetary surplus ahead of EU report

Europe
21.04.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Athens (dpa) - Greece on Friday reported a 2016 budgetary surplus of 7 billion euros (7.5 billion dollars), excluding costs for standing credit, exceeding one of the targets set by its international creditors.

The so-called primary surplus stood at 3.9 per cent of gross domestic product, according to preliminary figures from the Hellenic Statistical Authority.

The data was released ahead of a report on Greece‘s economic performance to be issued by Eurostat, the European Union‘s official statistical authority.

Greece has been reliant on international creditors since it suffered a financial meltdown in 2010. The country‘s primary surplus has been a major sticking point between the two sides.

The primary surplus masks the servicing of debt - which for Greece currently stands at 314.9 billion euros or 179 per cent of GDP - in order to be better able to recognize the current expenditure and income of the government.

In return for a bailout, the Greek government had to agree to an austerity package and achieve a 2016 primary surplus of at least 0.5 per cent of GDP.

The European Union has set a mid-term primary surplus target of 3.5 per cent for Greece in the hope that the country could start paying interest on its mountain of debt.

The country is expected to feature at the ongoing spring conference of the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.

On Friday evening, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos was expected to meet his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble to discuss the crisis.

 

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