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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-10

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>


  • [01] Greek fiscal deficit cut 'credible and sustainable'

  • [01] Greek fiscal deficit cut 'credible and sustainable'

    Greece‚s fiscal deficit fell below the 3.0 pct of GDP limit ?in a credible and sustainable way?, the European Commission said in its recommendation proposal to ECOFIN to end an excessive fiscal deficit procedure against the country.

    The European Commission‚s agencies completed drafting of a recommendation proposal, which is expected to be adopted by the Community‚s executive arm in May 16 after a recommendation by EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

    The recommendation proposal asks the Council to annul its previous decision over an excessive fiscal deficit in Greece, after it concluded that the country‚s budget deficit fell to 7.9 pct of GDP in 2004 to 2.6 pct of GDP in 2006, mainly through measures of permanent nature and some temporary nature measures accounting for 0.6 pct of GDP. The Commission estimates that the deficit would fall by 0.25 pct of GDP this to 2.4 pct, while it underlined the need for alertness to maintain fiscal discipline in the future and stressed its preference to permanent nature measures in fiscal consolidation efforts.

    Referring to the country‚s public debt, the Commission said it was adequately reduced from 108.5 pct of GDP in 2004 to 104.5 pct in 2006 and was expected to fall to 97.5 pct in 2008.

    The EU‚s executive said that Greek statistics agency improved procedures of collecting and processing of statistical data, reducing statistical divergence and improving the quality of statistical figures and noted that following this development Eurostat withdrew all of its reservations over the quality of Greek statistical data.

    The Commission said its economic forecasts were based on existing financial figures and not on revised GDP figures submitted by Greek authorities, figures that revised upwards by 26 percent the country‚s GDP. It said that Eurostat was currently examining the revised figures and its recommendations were expected during the year.

    The Commission said that if Eurostat fully verified Greece‚s revised GDP figures, the country‚s fiscal deficit would fall below 2.0 pct of GDP.

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