Outgoing IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the nominee expected to assume the helm of the European Central Bank (ECB), on Wednesday appeared as a Greek government ally, as far as its intent to reduce annual fiscal targets that the Greek state must post until 2022.
In addressing members of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), most of whom hours later voted in favor of her appointment, Lagarde said a 3.5-percent annual primary budget surplus (as a percentage of GDP) should be re-examined "very carefully".
Moreover, in answer to a question, she repeated that in the IMF's and in her view the current fiscal targets for Greece (3.5 percent primary budget surplus) is excessive and an inhibiting to the country's economic recovery. She added that this view remains standing.
The statement was warmly received in Athens, with Finance Minister Christos Staikouras underlining that the Mitsotakis government considers the reduction of the specific fiscal targets - agreed to by the previous SYRIZA government with European creditors - as a priority.