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France, Germany agree to ease budget targets in debt deal: Greek govt

A lower required primary surplus -- a state's budget surplus prior to debt financing -- would allow Athens to respect promises to voters to increase public spendingGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande acknowledged “the necessity” to lower primary surplus targets during phone talks about a debt deal with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Wednesday, Greek sources said. The three leaders “agreed on the necessity of lower primary surplus (targets) and of an immediate solution” between Athens and its creditors to free up 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) in frozen bailout aid in exchange for reform and austerity commitments by Greece. The issue of primary surplus — a state’s budget surplus prior to debt financing — had been a major sticking point between Greece and international creditors in concluding a deal, with Athens insisting on lower targets that would allow it to honour promises to voters to increase public spending.

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