Greece Wants Softer Austerity Targets

Greece Wants Softer Austerity Targets

LAGONISSI, Greece (AP) -- Greece's left-led government wants easier budget saving targets after its current multi-billion euro bailout ends in 2018.

Alternate Finance Minister George Chouliarakis says the government will stick to its agreed targets over the next three years, but wants a significant reduction afterwards.

Under last year's third bailout deal, Greece must achieve primary fiscal surpluses — which excludes the cost of debt servicing — of 0.5 percent, 1.75 percent and 3.5 percent of annual economic output for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.

While it has committed to maintain the high, 3.5 percent target in the medium term after 2018, Chouliarakis said Wednesday that he would prefer surpluses in the area of 1.5-2 percent after the bailout deal expires.

He spoke at a conference at Lagonissi, south of Athens.