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Greece narrows budget deficit to 8%

Jan 22 2013 15:01 AFP
Demonstrators stand in front of the Greek parliame

Demonstrators stand in front of the Greek parliament. (AFP)

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Athens - Greece narrowed its budget deficit to 8.1% in 2012, a junior finance minister said, marking a rare improvement over targets pledged to its EU-IMF creditors.

"The final execution data for the budget show that the country met its fiscal targets in 2012," alternate finance minister Christos Staikouras said in a statement.

The budget deficit closed at €15.7bn ($20.9bn) or 8.1% of output in 2012, compared to €22.8bn or 10.9% of output in 2011, the ministry said.

The ministry attributed the result to an excess of €230m in income tax collection and another €107m in above-target property tax takings.

Greece was obliged to bring its budget deficit to €16.3bn or 8.4% of output, Staikouras said.

The main indicator of fiscal progress is the public deficit, which is expected to be announced next month.

Under a three-party coalition pieced together in June, Greece has tried to get its troubled recovery back on track to regain access to billions of euros in EU-IMF bailout aid.

But Athens will still need additional help from its European partners as soon as next year to bring its huge debt under control, a senior IMF official said last week.

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greece  |  european union  |  imf  |  economy

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