Eurogroup should be ‘realistic’ on Greece’s fiscal targets, says Dijsselbloem

The chair of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers said on Tuesday that European lenders should be “realistic” in the fiscal targets they set for Greece after 2018, when a program of financial aid will end.

“We need to be realistic,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the economic affairs committee of the European Parliament, saying that the International Monetary Fund has a point when it says “running a primary surplus of 3.5 percent for a very long time is a huge thing to ask.”

Dijsselbloem’s remarks come a few days before a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on December 5, when ministers are set to decide for how long Greece should maintain a primary budget surplus – which excludes debt servicing costs – of 3.5 percent after 2018, when its current program of financial aid expires.

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