EU: Greece reports government surplus for first time since 1995

Brussels, Rajab 27, 1438, April 24, 2017, SPA — Greece posted an overall government surplus of 1.288
billion euros (1.4 billion dollars), or 0.7 per cent of its gross
domestic product (GDP) in 2016, the EU statistical agency Eurostat said ON Monday, according to dpa.
The figure, which includes debt service, marks the first time that Greece has reported a government surplus since Eurostat began recording the indicator in 1995 and comes as the heavily-indebted country and its European creditors are aiming to finalize the terms of its next bailout payment. In 2015, the country reported a government deficit of 5.9 per cent of GDP.
However, despite the progress, Greece’s government debt was still the highest in the EU, amounting to 314.9 billion euros, or 179 per cent of GDP in 2016.
The EU data comes as Greece on Friday reported a 2016 budget surplus of 7 billion euros, excluding debt service, exceeding one of the targets set by its international creditors.
According to the figures by the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the so-called primary surplus stood at 3.9 per cent of GDP, meeting creditors’ demand to achieve a primary surplus of at least 0.5 per cent of GDP.
The EU report also noted that government deficit for the 19-nation eurozone stood at 1.5 per cent, which is a decrease from 2.1 per cent in 2015. For the 28-member EU as a whole, the figure stood at 1.7 per cent in 2016, which was down from 2.4 per cent in 2015.
13:39 LOCAL TIME 10:39 GMT