Friday talks with troika revise budget target lower
By Sotiris Nikas
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras held another meeting with the inspectors of the country's creditors, which focused on the open fronts of the 2014 budget. Notably the two sides lowered considerably their expectations for this year’s primary surplus from 400-500 million euros to around 100 million euros.
The first draft of the new budget should be ready and presented on Monday, October 7, with ministry officials saying that it will take about a week for Athens and its creditors to reach a preliminary agreement at least on the main figures of next year’s budget.
The aim is for Greece to attain a primary surplus equal to 1.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
The troika – i.e. the representatives of the European Commission, the European Central bank and the International Monetary Fund – wants to see a drastic improvement in the efficiency of the tax collection mechanism, especially given that 2014 will be the first year the new Single Property Tax will be imposed. It also calls for action to contain the deficit of social security funds.