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Published: Tue, April 25, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

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

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

Greece owes creditors a payment of more than 7 billion euros come July.

Earlier on Friday, the country's statistics agency, Elstat, said Greece's primary surplus stood at 3.9% of GDP under the European Union accounting framework, versus a downwardly revised 2.3% deficit in 2015.

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

A Greek government official told Reuters that last year's primary budget surplus under the bailout program reached "about 4 percent, or slightly higher". "Therefore, the targets set under the bailout program for 2017 and 2018 will certainly be attained".

Representatives of Greece's global creditors are due in Athens to restart talks on further cutbacks required under the country's bailout deal.

Under the bailout, Greece needed to clock a primary surplus of 0.5 per cent of output in 2016, followed by 1.75 per cent this year and 3.5 per cent in 2018.

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

After meeting Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos in Washington, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said: "We had constructive discussions in preparation for the return of the mission to discuss the two legs of the Greece program: policies and debt relief".

Greece posted a 0.7% general government surplus of 0.7% of GDP, from a 5.9% deficit in 2015, Elstat said.

But the fact remains, analysts insist, that the government will vote all the measures through now - given of course that a deal will actually be reached with bailout inspectors - without having secured any commitment on debt, while its threat not to implement measures is nothing but a unilateral declaration of intent.

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