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Eurogroup: Greece no longer bound to 3.5% primary surplus target in 2020

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said that Greece is not longer bound by 3.5% primary surplus target for 2020, following the decisions made at the Eurogroup teleconference meeting on the economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today’s decisions fully meet Greek positions and priorities,” Staikouras said late on Monday.

He stressed that there will be no primary surplus target of 3.5% of GDP for Greece this year. Spending on countering the effects of the coronavirus will be excluded from fiscal performance calculations, he added.

 At the same time, Eugrogroup officials recognized the need to also exempt costs for tackling the migration problem, the finance minister added.

“Greece has secured fiscal flexibility similar to that applied to all eurozone member-states,” Eurogroup President Mario Centeno said adding “we all agreed that, of course, Greece will also be able to make full use of the flexibility with the fiscal rules to deal with the consequences of the coronavirus.”

With the hand untied, the finance ministry has prepared a financial support plan for the businesses and workers hit by the measures against the coronavirus.

The measures are expected to be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, the day when thousands of commercial shops will close down per government order and thousands of other businesses incl cafes, bars, restaurants were ordered to close over the weekend.

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