Greece still on target for balanced budget

FILE - Poul Thomsen. AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s Finance Ministry says the crisis-hit country remains on target to balance its budget this year, helped by a recent recovery in tax revenues.

Deputy finance minister Christos Staikouras said Wednesday that Greece was expected to post a budget surplus of about 345 million euros ($463 million) before interest payments this year — a key target set by bailout lenders.

Staikouras said the January-October balance stood at 1.1 billion euros ($1.48 billion) after traditionally weak tax revenues came in 250 million euros ($335.8 million) above target, at 35.59 billion euros ($47.8 billion) for the 10-month period.

Greece is in negotiations with bailout inspectors to try and resolve a disagreement over 2014 budget cuts and how to ease government protection for distressed mortgages.