Europe

Greece beats a key bailout target for 2016

  • A woman and her dog passes graffiti on a wall in Athens, Friday, April 21, 2017. Greece’s independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016, at 3.9 percent of gross domestic product. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A woman and her dog passes graffiti on a wall in Athens, Friday, April 21, 2017. Greece’s independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016, at 3.9 percent of gross domestic product. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A pedestrian passes a kiosk with Greek flags in Athens, Friday, April 21, 2017. Greece’s independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016, at 3.9 percent of gross domestic product. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A pedestrian passes a kiosk with Greek flags in Athens, Friday, April 21, 2017. Greece’s independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016, at 3.9 percent of gross domestic product. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • An elderly couple pass a closed bank in Athens, Friday, April 21, 2017. Greece’s independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016, at 3.9 percent of gross domestic product. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    An elderly couple pass a closed bank in Athens, Friday, April 21, 2017. Greece’s independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016, at 3.9 percent of gross domestic product. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

Greece's independent statistics agency says the country has posted a high primary budget surplus in 2016, at 3.9 percent of gross domestic product.

The surplus figure published Friday — which tallies excludes debt servicing costs — could provide some relief for the country's left wing government, which is struggling to overcome a disagreement with bailout lenders on unfreezing its rescue loans. The country would need new loans by July, when it faces a spike in its debt repayments.

The primary surplus target set by lenders had been 0.5 percent of GDP.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is in Washington attending an annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, and will hold a meetings with bailout lenders to try and end the impasse and reach an agreement in the next month.