Greece beats budget target, but new jobs elusive
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's finance ministry says the country's budgetary position is much better than anticipated.
It says that its surplus, once debt and interest payments are excluded, in the first eight months of the year is double the amount targeted under the country's international bailout program.
Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said Friday that the primary budget surplus in the January to August period was 1.95 billion euros ($2.52 billion) against the target of 962 million euros.
Greece has promised rescue creditors to maintain a balanced budget, meeting a key requirement for them to consider further financial help for the country.
Greece is widely expected to emerge from a six-year recession this year. Still the country's economy is about a quarter smaller than it was and unemployment stands at around 27 percent.