Small steps for primary surplus

Occasionally you find that things go your way without having to make much of an effort. The government’s decision not to rush to ask for a reduction in Greece’s primary surplus target was criticized as too hesitant, even though it was certain it would have been rejected.

However, Wednesday’s statement by Christine Lagarde, likely to be the next European Central Bank president, that the target is too high, shows that the Greek request is maturing, without Athens having to leap into a post-bailout confrontation with its partners.

We mustn’t be overoptimistic. The surplus will not be reduced automatically. However, it appears that the path being taken for the gradual recovery of the country’s credibility is the right one.

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