The International Monetary Fund (IMF) explained on Thursday that it is not asking the Greek government to take additional measures to cover the budget gap arising as a result of its differences with the Europeans over the size of the primary surplus Greece must achieve.
The IMF is asking for a primary surplus of 2.2% of GDP in 2018 whereas the Europeans are asking for a surplus of 3.5% of GDP.
The Fund pointed to last summer’s report, according to which there was an agreement with the Greek authorities on the issue. Provided that Greece meets its political commitments (reforms) and achieves the Fund’s financial target (2.2% of GDP primary surplus ) then the Europeans have agreed that Greece’s access to ESM tranches will continue even if Greece fails to meet the ESM higher financial target of 3.5% of GDP and the targets of the ESM programme will be re-examined.
The target for the primary surplus has been agreed at 1.8% of GDP this year. It will be supported by the already legislated reforms in pension, VAT and tax system. The target for next year’s primary surplus has been set at 2.2% of GDP.