Greece, creditors to resume talks in Athens, seek swift deal

Apr 25, 2017, 12:52
Greece, creditors to resume talks in Athens, seek swift deal

Data released on Friday shows that debt riddled Greece actually exceeded its global lenders' demands for budget saving past year, Reuters reports.

Under EU-IMF standards, the surplus was even larger.

European Union and International Monetary Fund officials arrived in Athens last night as Greece's €86 billion bailout program talks continue and Greek politicians are looking to Mario Draghi to start printing Monday as capital flows out of the banks at unprecedented rates.

Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said the primary budget surplus under bailout terms reached 4.19 percent of gross domestic product a year ago versus the 0.5 percent of GDP target. Greece has to reach a primary surplus of 1.75% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018 and maintain it at that level in the medium term.

The 2016 outperformance could lead the fund to revise some of its projections.

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"We discussed when the institutions will return [to Athens]; I think Tuesday or Wednesday".

In a statement on Friday, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she had a "constructive dialogue" with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos "in preparation for the return of the mission to discuss the two legs of the Greece program: policies and debt relief".

Greece recorded a primary surplus of 3.9 percent of GDP in 2016, exceeding by far initial forecasts, official figures released by the Greek statistical authority ELSTAT showed on Friday.

Greece and its creditors agreed a third, 86-billion-euros bailout deal in July 2015.

The IMF's numbers for 2017 confirm that Greece has achieved the target for 2016 and of the surplus that they have predicted last Autumn, at 3.3% of GDP for 2016.

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