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Greece and Creditors Agree to Budget Targets Ahead of Bailout Deal

© AP Photo / Thanassis StavrakisA graffiti in Athens, Tuesday, July 7, 2015.
A graffiti in Athens, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. - Sputnik International
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Talks between Greece and its creditors are ongoing ahead in the run-up to a deadline on August 20, when Greece must repay 3.4 billion euros ($3.7 billion) to the European Central Bank.

A woman passes by the Bank of Greece headquarters where 'Greece' was changed to 'Berlin' during a 24-hour general strike in Athens on February 7, 2012. - Sputnik International
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Talks between the Greek government and its creditors have resulted in an agreement on the country's fiscal targets for the coming years, ahead of the deadline for Greece to buy back 3.4 billion euros [$3.7 billion] of it bonds from the European Central Bank, which mature on August 20.

A source in the Greek government told Greece's media agency ANA that early on Tuesday an agreement had been reached, according to which Athens committed to spending cuts that will amount to a primary deficit of 0.25 percent of GDP in 2015, a 0.5 percent surplus in 2016, a 1.75 percent surplus in 2017 and a 3.5 percent surplus in 2018.

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The agreement on Greece's budget is the result of talks between Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis, the ECB, the International Monetary Fund and the European Stability Mechanism.

On Monday Finance Minister Tsakalotos said during a break from the negotiations that the discussion" is going quite well."

"There are issues [the creditors] want to discuss again and again, but I think there should be optimism that there will be a deal soon."

Negotiations with the Troika also aim to finalize the list of new austerity measures the Greek government is required to impose in exchange for a tranche of funding of up to 86 billion euros [$94 billion] to stabilize Greek public finances struggling to cope with debt of 320 billion euros [$350 billion], about 175 percent of its GDP.

The Eurozone leaders proposed the financial package at a summit on July 12-13, in return for hikes in the country's income tax and VAT, as well as spending cuts and economic reforms.

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