The IMF is doubtful that Greece can sustain the primary surplus it achieved in 2016, nor is it convinced that the country can keep up a figure that is seven times higher than its bailout target, as reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday.
The fund forecasts that Greece will attain a primary surplus of 2 percent in 2018, with little faith that the debt-stricken country will be able to consistently deliver a high level of primary surplus. In addition, it is laying the pressure on Athens to implement further austerity measures in order to maintain a surplus of 3.5% of GDP beyond 2019.
Bloomberg’s report continues by saying that “the parties concerned are still discussing how long Greece needs to maintain the 3.5 percent surplus. Two people familiar with the discussions said the current baseline scenario is to maintain it until 2022.”
Greek officials who remain anonymous say the fund is making “arbitrary calculations” that are not in line with reality, while Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos on Wednesday, dismissed the possibility of extra measures in 2018.
Negotiations and discussions are ongoing in Washington on the sidelines of the IMF spring meetings which may help to break the current deadlock.