IMF: Greek budget goal to be met, but only just

IMF: Greek budget goal to be met, but only just

The International Monetary Fund believes that Greece will meet its target for a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product, but doesn’t think the primary surplus overrun will be as great as the government expects, with politicians aspiring to distribute it as social dividend or use it to finance growth-boosting measures.

In its Fiscal Monitor report that will be published on Wednesday, the Fund will estimate that this year’s primary surplus will reach the 3.5 percent rate, compared to its previous estimate for 2.9 percent made in April, while sticking to its opinion that this level will remain the same in the years up to 2022.

This runs counter to the government’s projection for a primary surplus of 3.74 percent in 2018, rising to 4.14 percent in 2019, while the midterm fiscal plan provides for a 4.15 percent rate in 2020, 4.53 percent in 2021 and 5.19 percent in 2022.

This would finance the handouts worth 3.5 billion euros that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced at the Thessaloniki International Fair last month.

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