Tsakalotos: At least 1.1 billion from the primary surplus overflow will be distributed to the poor

epa05271960 Greek Finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos prior to the meeting of the Eurozone Finance Ministers at the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 22 April 2016. Eurozone ministers met to discuss the Greek bailout and the Panama Papers fallout. EPA/BART MAAT

At least 1.1 billion euros of an excess primary surplus target will be distributed for social purposes this year, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos told national broadcaster ERT1 in an interview late on Tuesday.

The greater portion of the expected target surplus will be turned over to Greek people facing extreme poverty, and to “a percentage of the middle classes”, possibly young people and the unemployed, all under set criteria.

Tsakalotos also said a portion will be “given to organizations we owe funds to”, such as outstanding bills of the government. “We have agreed with the institutions (Greece’s creditors) on the size of the dividend and its distribution,” the finance minister said.

Among other issues, he said Greece would access the markets at least four times by the end of the current loan program, as well as introduce other attempts at a smaller scale, in order to build the attractability of Greek bonds to investors and to prepare the ground for Greece’s full access to the markets.

In terms of the third ongoing review, Tsakalotos said there is willingness to resolve the issues by all parties involved, and that the intention was to complete the review by the time the new, post-election cabinet is in place in Germany.

Asked about Greece’s obligation for high primary surplus targets, he said “it is possible, but will be difficult”, and said that according to all indications, Greece will see growth in both 2017 and 2018.