Merkel’s election triumph keeps up pressure on Greece

Greece is on track to achieve a primary budget surplus this year, data released Monday shows.

The country’s General Accounting Office – responsible for drawing up the budget – announced a primary surplus of EUR 2.861 billion in the first eight months of 2013. The country’s fiscal deficit stands at EUR 2.5 billion for the same period while tax revenue targets are not met by EUR 727 million in the Jan. – Aug. 2013 period.

The Finance Ministry suggests that this year’s recession will be shallower than forecast and that the economy will grow by 0.8% next year. The government will hope to capitalize on the signs of recovery and begin negotiations with the country’s international lenders on debt relief, perhaps involving another reduction of interest rates, and an extension of loan maturities.

Talks on the future of Greece’s debt and the effort to make it viable by 2020 are expected to begin sooner rather than later, now that the German general election is over.

“We should not stop exercising pressure for the agreed reforms to be carried out,” said Angela Merkel after a major election win for her CDU party on Sunday.

For the full story, please click here

(Photo: Peter Weis)