IMF: No New Measures for Greece if 2018 Primary Surplus is at 2.2%

The International Monetary Fund is not asking the Greek government to take new measures to cover the fiscal gap that is due to the difference between the Fund’s estimates and those of the European institutions regarding the country’s primary budget surplus.

The IMF predicts a primary surplus for Greece in 2018 at the rate of 2.2%, while European counterparts in the country estimate that this surplus will be 3.5% of GDP. This means that, at least on paper, Greece might have to take further measures amounting to €2.4 billion.

The IMF says that if Athens succeeds in reaching the specific target of 2.2% budget surplus and implements the planned reforms without hesitation, then the Fund will not raise the issue of imposing new measures.

The refinement comes after the IMF report with the estimates for Greece and in particular about its primary surplus next year was interpreted by analysts as an opportunity for the Fund to ask for new measures, as it has done many times in the past.

The issue was confirmed by the IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. “We are not asking for any new measures, just the implementation of those we have already agreed with the government,” she said.

Asked about the Greek debt relief, Lagarde said that the IMF will continue to work with the Greek government and the EU on the Greek debt sustainability issue and it will eventually decide what measures are needed.