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Greece meets budget targets in 2012: govt

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ATHENS, Feb 4 AFP

February 05 2013, 02:31AM

Greece narrowed its public deficit to 6.6 per cent of output in 2012, meeting targets pledged to EU-IMF creditors, the finance ministry says.

"General government data confirms that the government has met its fiscal targets for 2012," junior finance minister Christos Staikouras said in a statement on Monday.

The deficit closed at 12.88 billion euros ($A16.98 billion) compared to 19.69 billion euros or 9.4 per cent of output in 2011, the ministry said in an estimate.

But it noted that the Greek state still has debt arrears of over 8.0 billion euros to private creditors such as hospital contractors and ministry suppliers.

A three-party coalition pieced together after elections in June has tried to get a recovery in Greece on track to maintain access to billions of euros in EU-IMF bailout loans.

But according to the IMF, Athens will still need additional help from its European partners as soon as next year to bring its huge debt of over 300 billion euros under control.