Greek prime minister promises bailout relief before polls

Protesters with clenched fists sing during a rally organized by the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union outside the Greek parliament, in central Athens, on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Thousands people gathered in central Athens Wednesday for three separate rallies and marches to parliament organized by unions and left-wing groups. Greece has been left without national rail, island ferry and other transport services for a day as unions hold strikes and rallies to celebrate May Day.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Greek Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, center, and his wife Danae Stratou second left, hold a banner which reads on Greek Disobedience, as they take part in a rally with other protesters in central Athens, on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Thousands people gathered in central Athens Wednesday for three separate rallies and marches to parliament organized by unions and left-wing groups. Greece has been left without national rail, island ferry and other transport services for a day as unions hold strikes and rallies to celebrate May Day.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece — Greece's left-wing prime minister has promised crisis-weary voters a series of tax-relief measures before upcoming elections, after outperforming budget targets set by bailout creditors.

Alexis Tsipras said sales-tax reductions for household electricity use and for catering would take effect later this month, while additional relief measures would be introduced at the start of 2020.

Tsipras is trailing opposition conservatives in opinion polls before local government and European elections later this month and must call a national election by early October.

Greece's budget performance in 2018 was better than expected, with a primary budget surplus, excluding debt servicing costs, of 4.4%, while creditors demanded a 3.5% surplus.

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