2012 State Budget Tabled in Parliament
On November 18, Greece's new interim coalition government tabled in Parliament the 2012 draft state budget, which sets out the plan for a challenging deficit reduction to 5.4% of GDP, an inflation containment of 0.6% and a primary surplus of 1.5% of GDP. The 2012 Draft State Budget was unveiled by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and was approved earlier on November 18 by a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.
"The 2012 State Budget reinforces a difficult effort of fiscal adjustment that reduces a primary deficit of € 24 billion in 2009 to a primary surplus of € 3.2 billion in 2012. The 2012 State Budget also fully compensates for the 0.7% of GDP deviation that is being projected in the execution of the 2011 Budget. The deviation is attributed, to a large extent, to the much deeper than anticipated recession in 2011 that reaches -5.5% rather than -3.8% of GDP, as forecasted in June 2011," Venizelos said while submitting the draft budget in Parliament.
The 2012 State Budget is to be voted on in Parliament on December 7, ahead of the forthcoming meetings of the European Council and the Eurozone on December 8-9 in Brussels. Today, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is in Brussels to hold meetings with European Council President Herman van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, as well as with Prime Minister of Luxembourg and Head of the Eurozone Jean-Claude Junker.
The Finance Ministry has issued a press release on the execution of the State Budget for the period January - October 2011. According to preliminary data available, the deficit amounts to €20,104 million compared to the new target of € 20,362 million set in the Preliminary Draft Budget for 2012.
During the same period in 2010, the State Budget deficit amounted to € 18,081 million. Further, total State Budget revenues (Ordinary and Investment Budget) were € 1,103 million below the new target, but total expenditures (Ordinary and Public Investment Budget) compensated for this revenue shortfall by amounting to €1,360 million - lower than the new target.
It should be noted that the current revenue shortfall will be reduced in following two months as the new tax measures included in the Medium Term Fiscal Strategy 2011-2015 and voted in July and August 2011 come into effect.
(Monday, November 21, 2011)
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