March 28, 2015 / 1:41 PM / 4 years ago

Troika expects Greece to miss primary surplus target this year: Der Spiegel

BERLIN (Reuters) - The three institutions or troika representing Greece’s official creditors expect Athens could miss its goal of a primary budget surplus this year, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday citing a source within the group of lenders.

Greece’s former conservative government said last year it would achieve a primary surplus of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, but the magazine quoted the source as saying: “Probably nothing will remain from that.”

It added Greece’s financial situation had worsened since January due to a lack of reforms under leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

A spokesman for German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble declined to comment on the report, that also estimated Greece’s funding gap had grown to up to 20 billion euros ($22 billion).

Greece has sent its creditors a long-awaited list of reforms with a pledge to produce a small budget surplus this year in the hope that this will unlock badly needed cash, Greek government officials said on Friday.

The list estimates a primary budget surplus of 1.5 pct for 2015, below the 3 percent target included in the country’s existing EU/IMF bailout, and growth of 1.4 percent, the official said.

The Greek finance ministry recently revised last year’s primary budget surplus to 0.3 percent, from 1.5 percent of GDP as estimated by the former conservative government and agreed with the country’s international lenders.

The finance ministry said its estimate was based on preliminary data and was partly due to a shortfall of 3.9 billion euros in state revenue late last year.

Greece’s deputy prime minister was quoted as saying by China’s official Xinhua news agency that Greece will sell its majority stake in the port of Piraeus within weeks, a u-turn by the government as it seeks funds from its creditors.

($1 = 0.9185 euros)

Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Gernot Heller; Editing by David Holmes

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