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Greece beats 2017 primary budget surplus target

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Staff Writer |
Tsipras
Europe   The general government budget showed a surplus

Greece beat the primary budget surplus target in 2017, which stood at 4% of GDP or 7.08 billion euros, sharply higher than the agreed target of 1.75% of GDP, National Statistics Service or ELSTAT said in the context of the first Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) notification of 2018.

Also, the general government budget showed a surplus of 1.5 billion euros, of 0.8% of GDP compared to 0.6% in 2016.

The debt to GDP ratio stood at 178.6%, reaching 317.4 billion euros. The year-ago figure was 180.8% of GDP.

In 2017, both spending and revenues declined to 48.01 and 48.82 billion euros from 49.52 and 50.15 billion euros respectively.

Recall, that Greece has been outperforming the primary budget surplus targets for three consecutive years, as the 2016 target came in at 4.19% sharply above the target of 0.5%. In 2018, the agreed target with creditors is for 3.5% of GDP.

Greek Prime Minister vehemently rejected once again the option of a precautionary support line after the end of the program and reiterated the government’s target for a “clean exit” from the memorandum.

Addressing this Syriza party parliamentary group, Tsipras said that “there is no issue of continuation or extension of the memorandum or an issue of a dirty exit. What we will have is a clear completion of the program and a clean exit.”

He added, however, that a clean exit “would not mean a return to abundance and spending.”

Finally Tsipras said that the issue of IMF’s participation in the program is still “open” but added if the Fund will not participate in the program “it won’t be the end of the world.”


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