Greece’s budget deficit is expected to hit 9% of gross domestic product this year, a Greek government official said Friday, overshooting the government’s upwardly revised forecast from just one month ago.
During the first cabinet meeting of Greece’s newly-appointed government, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told colleagues that the deficit would be higher than previously expected, according to an official present at the meeting.
“Venizelos estimated that the deficit will be round 9% this year,” the official told reporters afterwards.
In early October, Greece’s finance ministry forecast that the 2011 deficit would total about EUR18.69 billion–equal to about 8.5% of gross domestic product–and well above a target of EUR17.1 billion.
As a result, Greece last month passed some EUR6.6 billion worth of new austerity measures for this year and next to bring its budget back on track with commitments made to its international creditors.
For 2012, Greece is aiming for a deficit of 6.8% of GDP, or about EUR14.65 billion.
The draft 2012 budget has already been submitted to parliament, but the final version is expected to be presented on Nov. 20 and will be voted on by the end of December.
(source: Dow Jones)
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