Reuters: After stronger 2016, Greece hopes lenders will drop austerity demands

Greece hopes stronger than expected public accounts in 2016 will convince its lenders to sign off on a bailout review without demanding more austerity, government officials said before a meeting of euro zone finance ministers.

The officials told Reuters that last year’s primary surplus – which excludes debt servicing costs – reached 1-1.5 percent of gross domestic product, beating a target of 0.6 percent of GDP set in its bailout plan as the tax take improved.

“This performance will help us … offset the IMF view that Greece would need extra measures to plug a projected fiscal gap in 2018 to reach a 3.5 percent surplus bailout target,” one Greek official said.

Source: Reuters