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ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s government on Friday submitted its 2015 budget to Parliament, sticking with high-growth and low-deficit predictions that rescue lenders say are too rosy.

The budget leaves forecasts made in a draft last month unchanged, estimating the economy will grow by 2.9 percent in 2015, after the country emerged from a six-year recession this year.

The budget projects Greece’s primary surplus — state income without taking into account interest payments on outstanding debt — will be 3 percent of gross domestic product. It sees the deficit narrowing to 0.2 percent of GDP next year, from 1.3 percent this year and 1.6 percent in 2013.

Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the government stuck to its deficit projection despite disagreement from rescue lenders, but gave no further details.

“They have a different estimation, and they see a budget shortfall, which we do not,” he said.

The budget also comes amid a disagreement between Greece and international creditors on remaining reforms before part of its bailout program ends this year. The dispute has delayed the return to Athens of bailout inspectors.

In Brussels, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said negotiations were ongoing.

“Significant progress has been made on several important issues. Those discussions are continuing today, so that our team can return to Athens,” he said.

Greece has relied on bailout funds from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund since 2010. In return, it had to impose stringent spending cuts and tax hikes.

Unions are planning a general strike next Thursday against the ongoing austerity measures.

The post Greek Budget Forecasts Growth appeared first on The National Herald.

Source: The National Herald
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