ESM chief indicates lower surplus may be possible


European Stability Mechanism (ESM) chief Klaus Regling has indicated that Greece's lenders may consider reducing high primary surplus targets if the debt-laden country can overshoot growth targets after 2020.

Speaking at a press conference during a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Helsinki on Friday, Regling said that Greece has made a commitment to the current target of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product for 2019 and 2020 and could seek a reduction after that if lending rates drop and growth surpasses targets outlined in the country's post-bailout program.

This is the first time eurozone lenders have suggested that a lower surplus target may be possible.

Regling also welcomed the new Greek government's economic reform program and hailed a decision to repay a chunk of high-interest loans to the International Monetary Fund before their maturity date.