Greece beats a key bailout target for 2016

Greece’s independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016, at 3.9 per cent of gross domestic product.

The surplus figure published on Friday – which tallies excludes debt servicing costs – could provide some relief for the country’s left wing government, which is struggling to overcome a disagreement with bailout lenders on unfreezing its rescue loans.

The country would need new loans by July, when it faces a spike in its debt repayments.

The primary surplus target set by lenders had been 0.5 per cent of GDP.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is in Washington attending an annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, and will hold a meetings with bailout lenders to try and end the impasse and reach an agreement in the next month.

Originally published as Greece beats a key bailout target for 2016

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