Deficit to stay below the 3 percent level

Greece will manage to contain its general government deficit below the threshold of 3 percent of gross domestic product this year, even according to the Eurostat’s methodology, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced on Wednesday.

He added that a small primary surplus will be achieved at the end of the year and that if the target for a primary surplus equal to 1.5 percent of GDP is achieved next year, then the deficit will be kept below 3 percent of GDP in 2014, too.

As for the repayment of state arrears, which date from 2011, Staikouras stated that no more than 7 billion euros will be channeled into the market this year against an original target for 8 billion euros.

Regarding the 1 billion euros that will not be paid out, the Finance Ministry has asked the country’s creditors to use it for the repayment of arrears generated in 2012, but the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund have not yet given their response to that request.

From December 2012 up to the end of September, the ministry repaid debts totaling 4.85 billion euros, while another 940 million euros has been approved for payment which has been delayed.