by Ian Talley and Matina Stevis
Wall Street Journal
October 9, 2013
Greece is projected to miss a key bailout target for next year according to an International Monetary Fund report published Wednesday, a factor likely complicating already-fraught negotiations over the next tranche of financing for the ailing economy.
The IMF projects in its latest Fiscal Monitor report that Greece’s budget surplus will only hit 1.1% of gross domestic product next year instead of the 1.5% of GDP target outlined in its bailout terms with the IMF and the euro zone.
In the fund’s last review of the emergency financing program, it said Athens was on track to meeting the target. But tax collection problems, anemic growth and ongoing delays in a plan to sell off state assets have plagued the bailout program.
Greece’s emergency creditors – the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank – won’t issue the next round of needed bailout financing if Greece fails to meet its main objectives. The budget targets have become a new focal point in negotiations.