Main points:

  • Eurostat lifts all reservations regarding Greek fiscal data
  • 2009 deficit revised to 15,4%, debt to 126,8% of GDP
  • 2010 deficit estimated at 9,4%, debt at 144% of GDP
  • Deficit reduction in 2010 an unprecedented 6 percentage points of GDP or over 14 billion Euro, larger than planned
  • Greek government pledges to continue consolidation effort in line with its 3-year economic programme
  • 2011 budget to be submitted to Parliament Thursday November 18th


Eurostat has today released final revised figures for the 2006-2009 period regarding Greek fiscal data. With its announcement, Eurostat fully validates Greek data and withdraws all reservations following a thorough investigation of Greek fiscal accounts in close cooperation with the newly independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

The revision and validation of the fiscal data up to 2009 is a major step to restore transparency in fiscal management and to eliminate controversies over the quality and the accuracy of Greek fiscal statistics.
   
The 2009 deficit was revised from 13,6% to 15,4% of GDP or 36.150 million Euro, an increase of 1,8 percentage points. This revision is mainly due to:

  • The reclassification of public corporations into general government data (increasing the deficit by 0,7% of GDP)
  • Adjustment of accounts of social security funds and local government (increasing the deficit by 0,9% of GDP)
  • Downward revision of GDP for 2009 (increasing the deficit by 0,2% of GDP) 


The revision has also affected debt figures which now include the accumulated debts of public enterprises classified in the General Government fiscal balance. The 2009 general government consolidated debt has been revised to 298.032 million Euro or 126,8% of GDP from 115,4% of GDP, an increase of 11,4 percentage points. This revision is mainly due to:

 

  • The reclassification of public corporations into general government data (increasing debt by 7,75% of GDP or 18.204 million Euro)
  • Adjustment for off-market swaps (increasing debt by 2,3% of GDP or 5.530 million Euro)


It should be noted that despite the revision, the debt to GDP ratio is still projected to peak in 2013 and start declining afterwards.

The new starting point for the 2009 deficit reveals the magnitude of the unprecedented fiscal effort made by the Greek government in 2010.

Despite the data revision, the deficit reduction in 2010 is larger than initially targeted; 6 percentage points of GDP against a targeted reduction of 5,5 percentage points. The 2010 deficit resulting from the new revised figures and general government accounts after the reclassification is estimated to be 9,4% of GDP, a reduction in excess of 14 billion Euro compared to 2009.

Fiscal consolidation will continue within the targets and the framework of the Economic and Financial Programme agreed with the EU, ECB and IMF leading to a fiscal deficit below 3% of GDP in 2014. The 2011 budget detailing the fiscal effort for 2011 and the measures to bring it about will be tabled to Parliament on Thursday 18th November.