Greek public debt and deficit worse than estimated

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October 21, 2012

Provisional figures released by Greece’s national statistics authority have shown the country’s deficit and public debt for 2011 are worse than estimated.

According to provisional data published by ELSTAT statistics agency on Monday, the 2011 deficit stood at 9.4 percent of gross domestic product and the public debt at 170.6 percent.

“The revisions as regards the debt ratios are primarily due to the update of gross domestic product estimates,” the agency said in a statement.

Greece has been in recession since 2009 despite the austerity cuts and the bailout funds, which have been aimed at stimulating growth for its troubled economy.

Earlier on October, ELSTAT revised the estimate for the Greek economy’s performance last year to a 7.1-percent contraction from an earlier calculation of 6.9 percent.

Greece’s debt is reportedly expected to increase from 169.5 percent of output in 2012 to 179.3 percent in 2013 according to next year’s draft budget.

On October 19, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said that the debt-ridden country would go bankrupt if it didn’t get the bailout money it needs before Greece’s euro cash reserves run out in the middle of November.

The International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, and European Commission, known as the troika, has been withholding about 36 billion euros of funds Greece needs to recapitalize its banks and repay outstanding domestic debts.

The troika wants Greece to implement harsh austerity measures set under the terms of a 130 billion euro bailout package agreed in March 2011.

One in every five Greek workers is currently unemployed, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent.

Greek youths have also been badly affected, and more than half of them are unemployed.

This article was posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

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