IMF's Blanchard says Greek budget proposals insufficient to ensure a surplus

PARIS (Reuters) - Greece's budget proposals are insufficient to ensure a surplus this year, International Monetary Fund chief economist Olivier Blanchard was quoted as saying on Monday.

Mr Blanchard told French financial daily Les Echos in an interview that Greece was supposed to have a 3 per cent 2015 budget surplus, but that this goal was probably not realistic at the moment.

Revising this surplus downwards would lead to new financing needs for which Greece would again need European help. This could only work if, in exchange, Greece presented a coherent programme, he said.

"Considering that the most recent estimates mention a substantial budget deficit, we need credible measures to transform this into a surplus and maintain this surplus in the future," Mr Blanchard was quoted as saying.

"This is far from being the case at the moment," he added.