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No major surplus cut in upcoming budget

Greece plans to lower its 2015 primary surplus target of 3% only marginally, sticking "close to" the number in its budget, according to a finance ministry official.

The official was responding to reports of a bigger cut to accommodate tax relief measures.

"What's being reported in the media that the primary surplus target will be much lower than 3% is not true," the official said.

The target is one of several agreed with the European Union and International Monetary Fund as part of the country's 240-billion-euro aid package. Greek media have reported Athens could cut it to about 2.3% to give the government the leeway to introduce steeper tax cuts.

Athens has been trying to convince its EU/IMF lenders to move away from austerity measures and focus on efforts to revive the economy and preserve fragile political stability in a country struggling through a six-year austerity fueled recession.

Greece will submit its 2015 budget to parliament on Monday amid a review by the Troika of inspectors from the EU and IMF lenders who are in Athens for what is expected to be their last review under the bailout.

The bailout is due to end in early 2016, but Athens says it wants to quit as early as next year.