Greece misses 2014 budget deficit targets, adding pressure to bailout talks

Official figures show that Greece fell well short of its budget deficit reduction targets last year, a development that’s likely to add pressure on the Greek government during tortuous talks with bailout creditors.

The country’s statistical authority says Wednesday that the 2014 deficit was 3.5 percent of Greece’s annual GDP. That’s way higher than the 0.8 percent forecast.

After stripping out the cost of servicing Greece’s crippling public debt, a modest primary surplus of 0.4 percent was recorded — short of the 2 percent target.

The new radical left-led government had already said the shortfall would be bigger than expected. But the official confirmation comes at a time Greece is negotiating a long-delayed rescue loan installment, without which it will run out of cash.

Greek stocks fell 2.4 percent Wednesday.

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