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Greece to reach key budget target for 2013

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's finance ministry says it is on target to achieve a primary budget surplus in 2013, a key target set in the country's bailout agreements.

Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said Tuesday that the core government's primary surplus _ that is, not counting the cost of paying interest on existing debt _ was 691 million euros ($956 million).

He said the primary surplus for overall government spending is expected to be 812 million euros ($1.1 billion). The official figure will be released in about one month.

Greece has promised to balance its budget before interest payments to qualify for a major debt relief deal expected later this year.

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