CORRECTED-Greece posts budget surplus in 2013 at central government level

Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:10am EST

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(Corrects final paragraph to show last year's surplus includes bond profit returns of 2 billion euros, instead of excludes bond profit returns of 1.5 billion euros)

ATHENS Jan 14 (Reuters) - Greece's central government posted a primary budget surplus of 700 million euros last year and will also post a surplus at the more closely watched general government level, making it eligible for further debt relief, its deputy finance minister said on Tuesday.

Greece has been promised it can seek more debt relief from its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund that have bailed out the country, after it posts a primary surplus for a full year.

The lenders track the general government surplus - which includes local government budgets and pension funds - rather than the central government data released on Tuesday, but that data indicates Greece is on track to meet the wider target.

Greece is aiming at a 2013 primary budget surplus of about 812 million euros or 0.4 percent of gross domestic product at the general government level.

Last year's central government surplus includes bond profit returns of 2 billion euros from euro zone central banks to Athens, under the terms of its international bailout. (Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, Editing by Deepa Babington)

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