Europe

Greece calls on Germany to ease budget surplus demands

  • People read newspapers around a kiosk in Athens, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Greece and its European creditors agreed Monday to resume talks on what economic reforms the country must make next in order to get the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy and a potential exit from the euro this summer. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    People read newspapers around a kiosk in Athens, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Greece and its European creditors agreed Monday to resume talks on what economic reforms the country must make next in order to get the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy and a potential exit from the euro this summer. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man carries shopping bags as he walks on a pedestrian street of Athens, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Greece and its European creditors agreed Monday to resume talks on what economic reforms the country must make next in order to get the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy and a potential exit from the euro this summer. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    A man carries shopping bags as he walks on a pedestrian street of Athens, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Greece and its European creditors agreed Monday to resume talks on what economic reforms the country must make next in order to get the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy and a potential exit from the euro this summer. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

Greece's government is calling on Germany to drop what it described as "irrational" budget demands in Greece's bailout program.

Speaking a day after Greece and its European creditors agreed to resume talks on further reforms, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos called Tuesday on Germany to ease demands for the country to post a 3.5 percent primary surplus — the budget balance minus debt interest costs — for a decade.

He also called on Germany to "adopt a constructive stance" to reach a deal on some form of debt relief.

Greece agreed Monday to impose further reforms taking effect from 2019, after its current third bailout ends. The government says the measures will be fiscally neutral, with every increase in financial burden being offset by another counter-measure.