Greece posts budget surplus in Jan-Nov, in line with targets

Greece’s central government posted a primary budget surplus of 1.2 billion euros between January and November, the country’s deputy finance minister Christos Staikouras said on Thursday.

The reading excludes bond profit returns of 1.5 billion euros from European central banks to Athens, under the terms of its international bailout.

Thursday’s figures show Athens is on course to post a primary budget surplus of about 812 million euros at general government level for the full year, Staikouras said.

Posting a primary surplus, which excludes interest payments on the country’s debt and one-off bond profit returns, is the main goal of debt-laden Greece’s government as it will open the way for Athens to pursue debt relief from its international lenders, the EU and the IMF. [Reuters]