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November 19, 2010

New cuts coming for Greece: 5 billion euros targeted for 2011

Bloomberg Business Week article by Elena Becatoros on the new round of cuts coming to Athens:

"Crisis-hit Greece pledged Thursday to slash another euro5 billion from its deficit next year, making deeper cuts than planned in the 2011 budget to ensure it sticks to the terms of an international rescue deal.

The government originally aimed to cut next year's deficit by euro1.5 billion, but was forced to increase the amount to euro5 billion after failing to meet revenue targets this year and seeing its 2009 deficit figures hiked, which had a knock-on effect on 2010.

...Greece cut this year's deficit by 6 percentage points, better than the targeted 5.5 percentage point cut, and the minister said his country's "fiscal adjustment is not just unprecedented in Greece and unprecedented in the eurozone, it goes beyond what was asked of us."

Earlier this week, the EU revised last year's deficit upward to 15.4 percent of gross domestic product -- or euro36.15 billion -- from 13.6 percent. That in turn pushed up this year's projected deficit to 9.4 percent instead of the original 8.1 percent target.

(Greece Finance Minister) George Papaconstantinou insisted the new budget would "ensure that targets are met -- I stress are met fully -- so that we can continue to freely draw money from the support fund of euro110 billion."

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