December 30, 2017 / 11:34 AM / a year ago

Austrian finance minister wants to save 2.5 billion euros in 2018

Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger arrives for a cabinet meeting in Vienna, Austria, December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

ZURICH (Reuters) - Newly appointed Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger said he wants to present a combined budget for the years 2018 and 2019, with savings of around 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion) next year.

“The structural deficit will be at around 0.5 percent next year,” Loeger, a former insurance industry executive, was quoted as saying in an interview with Austrian newspaper Der Standard.

He said that in order to reach a balanced budget “at the earliest within the next two to three years”, Austria would have to save around 2.5 billion euros next year.

Earlier this month, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz formed a new government which included the anti-immigration Freedom Party.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Alison Williams

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