Wednesday, April 23, 2014

EU Confirms Greece Beat Its Budget Targets in 2013

Wall Street Journal
April 23, 2014

Greece beat its budget targets last year, Europe's statistics agency said Wednesday, confirming a dramatic turnaround in the country's public finances and opening the way for fresh debt reduction measures by Greece's euro-zone partners in the months ahead.

According to the data, Greece achieved a primary budget surplus—before counting debt payments—of €1.5 billion in 2013 ($2.08 billion); one year ahead of expectations and higher than the goal set by the country's international creditors who stipulated that Athens aim for a balanced primary budget last year.

The data is a "reflection of the remarkable progress Greece has made in repairing its public finances since 2010," Simon O'Connor, a spokesman for the European Commission said at a news conference in Brussels.

Last year's primary surplus represents the first by Greece in a decade, and the confirmation from Eurostat Wednesday comes almost exactly four years after Greece sought the first of two successive international bailouts to fix its budget problems and overhaul its economy.


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