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Greece remains among the countries with the highest deficit in Europe

22 October 2012 / 21:10:58  GRReporter
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The European statistical office Eurostat announced this week that Greece's budget deficit for 2011 was 9.4% of GDP. The difference between revenue and expenses reached 19.7 billion euro at the end of last year and the foreign debt was 355.7 billion euro or 170.6% of GDP. European statisticians came to Athens on 24 - 25 September this year to revise the data of the local statistics office. The results showed a 0.3% difference in the deficit reported by the Greek National Statistical Service.

The total deficit for the 17 states of the euro zone fell to 4.1% of GDP in 2011 from 6.2% of GDP in 2010. The countries with the lowest deficits were Luxembourg (-0.3%), Finland (-0.6%), Germany (-0.8%). The European Union countries which reported primary budget surpluses were Estonia (+1.1%), Hungary (+4.3%) and Sweden (+0.4%). Greece with 9.4% of GDP, Spain with 9.4% of GDP and Ireland with 13.4% of GDP remain the countries with the highest deficit among the European Union states.

The public debt of the countries of the monetary union reached 87.3% of GDP last year and it was 82.5% for the 27 countries of the European Union. The lowest is the public debt of Estonia with 6.1% of GDP and Bulgaria with 16.3% of GDP. Greece’s foreign debt remains the highest among the countries of the European Union after that of Italy - 120.7% of GDP and Portugal - 108.1% of GDP.

Meanwhile, the fight in Athens for the next aid tranche from the international institutional lenders continues. "If we do not have the money by the middle of November, people will be starving," Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras told the economic committee of the parliament. He insists that the coalition government must take fast decisions on the final package of fiscal measures.

The three parties in the government still have some differences mainly in the change of labour relations in the private sector, the cuts in public administration and the reduction of pensions. On Tuesday afternoon, the leaders of the government coalition parties of New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left will convene a meeting. The goal is to find a formula by which the parties can vote on the coming measures with the highest majority.

According to the latest plan of the Greek government, the final version of the fiscal adjustment over the next two years should be agreed this week. It will conclude this round of negotiations with the lenders of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank and the supervisory Troika will report on the state of the Greek economy.

The draft budget for 2013 should be in parliament next week to be voted on as soon as possible.

It will include about 9 billion euro in budget cuts and around 2.5 billion euro in additional revenue mainly from the restructuring of property taxation. The ultimate goal is for Greece and the supervisors to complete all preliminary processes within ten days, so that at the next scheduled meeting of eurozone finance ministers on 12 November Greece gets the green light for the payment of the delayed summer tranche of 31.5 billion euro.

According to Greek financial analysts, the meeting in November will probably decide on the payment of the 5 billion euro, which was intended to be paid to Greece in September 2012. Then remains the December tranche of 8.3 billion euro, for which there will be a separate inspection by the lenders and another meeting of Eurogroup.

Tags: EconomyDeficitTroikaTrancheFinancial aidGreeceCrisis
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