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UPDATE 1-Greek January central government primary budget surplus misses target

(Adds details, minister’s comment)

ATHENS, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Greece’s central government achieved a primary budget surplus of 498 million euros ($539.33 million) in January, missing its target because it got less money from the European Union, finance ministry data showed on Tuesday.

The government was projecting a primary budget surplus - which excludes debt-servicing costs - of 1.269 billion euros for January, meaning the surplus undershot the target by 771 million euros.

The surplus excludes the budgets of social security funds and local administration. It differs from the figure monitored by Greece’s foreign lenders but does indicate the state of the country’s finances.

Net revenue, including taxes, came in at 3.9 billion euros -- 743 million euros below target, because of higher tax refunds and a delay in getting EU funds.

“In January we had a shortfall in revenue from investments due to bureaucratic reasons,” said Deputy Finance Minister Theodore. “A significant sum of 350 to 400 million euros was submitted in late January and will be booked in February.”

Under a post-bailout plan agreed with its official lenders, Greece aims to achieve a primary surplus of 3.5% of gross domestic product this year. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos, editing by Larry King)

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