Exclusive: Greece mulls more IMF repayments next year, targets lower surplus

FILE PHOTO: Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras speaks during a parliamentary session before a confidence vote on government policies in Athens, Greece, July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas/File Photo

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece is considering repaying more IMF loans ahead of time next year to offload expensive debt and wants to convince its official lenders to lower its post-bailout fiscal targets, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told Reuters.

“It is possible for a new early repayment of an additional part of IMF loans in 2020,” he said in an interview on Wednesday, without disclosing how much Athens would seek to repay in 2020. Greece owes the Fund 5.5 billion euros ($6.06 billion).

“The new early repayment should be up to a certain amount that would allow the IMF to keep its presence in Greece until the end of the post-program surveillance period,” Staikouras said.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Renee Maltezou and Catherine Evans