Regling dampens Athens’ hopes for easing of primary budget surplus target in place until 2023

14 March 2019
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European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Managing Director Klaus Regling told Greek media on Wednesday that Athens is committed to posting a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent (of annual GDP) until 2022, with no indications that this obligation can be avoided.

His comments, given during an interview to the state broadcaster, come amid continuing speculation in Athens that both the poll-trailing Tsipras government and the poll-leading main opposition New Democracy (ND) party aim to press European creditors for a lowering of the ambitious annual fiscal target.

Regling, however, said the 3.5-percent fiscal goal is among the most important elements in the post-bailout agreement, while maintaining that the current government does not dispute the target. He added that an “enhanced supervision” report presented earlier in the week at the Eurogroup venue shows progress in several areas, but not in all.

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