December 30, 2017 / 11:42 AM / a year ago

Austrian finance minister wants to save 2.5 billion euros in 2018

FILE PHOTO: Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger arrives for a cabinet meeting in Vienna, Austria, December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

ZURICH (Reuters) - Newly appointed Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger said he wants to present a combined budget for the years 2018 and 2019, with savings of around 2.5 billion euros (2.22 billion pounds) next year.

“The structural deficit will be at around 0.5 percent next year,” Loeger, a former insurance industry executive, was quoted as saying in an interview with Austrian newspaper Der Standard.

He said that in order to reach a balanced budget “at the earliest within the next two to three years”, Austria would have to save around 2.5 billion euros next year.

Earlier this month, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz formed a new government which included the anti-immigration Freedom Party.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Alison Williams

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