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Greece hasn't agreed to a 1 per cent primary surplus this year: finance minister

Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 18:09
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Greece has not agreed to meet a primary budget surplus of 1 per cent for this year, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told parliament on Thursday, amid talks between the Greek premier and European leaders over a cash-for-reforms deal in Brussels.

[ATHENS] Greece has not agreed to meet a primary budget surplus of 1 per cent for this year, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told parliament on Thursday, amid talks between the Greek premier and European leaders over a cash-for-reforms deal in Brussels.

The level of primary surplus that Athens should aim for has been a sticking point in the negotiations as time runs out for Greece to stave off a default by the end of June. Greece's lenders want a target of 1 per cent on the surplus, which excludes debt payments.

In its latest proposal, Greece wants a surplus target of 0.6 per cent of gross domestic product this year, although a Greek minister said on Wednesday that the government could agree to raise this to 0.8-0.85 per cent. "We have not under any circumstances agreed to 1 per cent for this year as it was reported," Mr Varoufakis told parliament. "This kind of approach is part of the problem and not the solution and we are not going to sign this."

REUTERS