The so-called primary surplus is projected to be 1.6 percent of economic output next year, or 2.8 billion euros. The finance ministry expects a marginal surplus of 340 million euros as early as this year, deputy finance minister christos staikouras said in athens on monday. US investor george soros, meanwhile, called for a comprehensive debt cut for the crisis-stricken country.
According to staikouras, the greek debt will reach 319.4 billion euros (174.5 percent of economic output) next year. He went on to say that this year the greek economy was allowed to shrink by four percent. 2014 should see growth of 0.6 percent for the first time since 2008. The deficit as a share of economic output will be 2.4 percent this year against 6 percent in 2012.
The news on the labor market is not good: the unemployment rate will remain very high next year, at around 26 percent, staikouras said. At present, the annual average is about 27 percent.
The draft budget was presented to parliament on monday. In its final form, it should be approved only in mid-november, it hears on the part of the ministry of finance.
The greek press recently reported that athens was considering asking its lenders to extend the repayment of its debt for up to 50 years. Finance ministry sources confirmed to dpa news agency that these were "considerations under various scenarios and nothing more".
U.S. Investor george soros, meanwhile, called for a comprehensive debt relief for greece. "Everyone knows that the country will never be able to repay its debts," soros told "spiegel online". Greece is on the verge of an annual primary surplus in its budget after a number of efforts. "I know from conversations that private investors will return to the country if the public sector forgoes debt repayments as long as athens meets the troika’s conditions," soros said.
Referring to germany’s role in the greece bailout, soros continued, "germany should remember that it itself benefited from debt forgiveness and deferrals several times after the second world war, including from greece. But now it is showing itself to be unyielding."
As reported by the "financial times", there are positive developments in the banking sector in greece. Hedge funds like paulson& co and other firms bet on the rapid recovery of the greek financial sector, the paper reported. The newspaper quoted the billionaire, john paulson, as saying that his fund holds substantial stakes in the country’s largest financial institutions, piraus bank and alpha bank. Both banks were well capitalized and well managed and were on the road to improvement.