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Govt tables 2017 draft budget; primary budget surplus pegged at 1.8% of GDP, growth at 2.7%

The Greek government on Monday submitted its draft budget for 2017 to a relevant Parliament standing committee, with the highlights being a primary budget surplus of 1.8 percent — as a percentage of GDP — for the coming year, as well as an  ambitious target of 2.7 percent GDP growth.

The draft budget must first receive a positive committee vote before debate in a Parliament plenary.

Based on the figures it cited in the draft plan, the primary budget surplus target in absolute terms comes to 3.33 billion euros, which would mean an increase in relation to GDP by 0.6 percent (1.111 billion euros), which is foreseen for the current year.

Continuing in an upbeat mode, the government foresees unemployment to east to 22.4 percent and public debt, as a percentage of GDP, to reach 174.8 percent, slightly down from 178.4 percent that it estimates for 2016.

A memo by the finance ministry attached to the draft budget says the achievement of fiscal goals will be aided by a gradual restoration of economy activity in the country; a tangible improvement in tax compliance and a reinforcement of fiscal discipline.