Wednesday

1st Apr 2020

Greek debt targets missed, says independent report

  • The Greek economy is performing worse than expected (Photo: EUobserver)

Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday attacked a report warning that government debt continues to increase and has already missed 2011’s budget target even though there are still four months left in the year.

“All responsible international organisations know in which way macroeconomic and fiscal reports are compiled, checked and published,” Venizelos said responding to the release of an internal report from the State Budget Office, a recently established oversight body independent of the government.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

“It is still clear that the budget office still lacks this knowledge, experience and responsibility,” he said.

The Budget Office report had warned that Athens is not moving quickly enough to implement the far-reaching restructuring and cuts to spending promised to international lenders.

“It is clear that the country's problem is not just the size of the public debt but the inability to consolidate the current fiscal management. Despite gigantic effort for fiscal adjustment, no primary surplus has been achieved. On the contrary, the primary deficit is widening,' the report said.

“The widening of the deficit is associated with worrying fiscal developments, particularly delays in implementing the adjustment programme, and the limited efficiency of revenue collection mechanisms.”

The Budget Office stated that the primary deficit for the first seven months of 2011 is “significantly higher” than the target for the whole of the year - 1.7 percent of GDP.

It added that even if the government manages to successfully implement all austerity measures, this year, it would still not meet its targets.

The release of the document, first published in Greece’s Kathimerini daily, could not come at a worse time.

This week, inspectors from the EU-ECB-IMF troika arrived in the Greek capital to assess whether the country was sufficiently on track in its austerity measures to receive the latest tranche of bail-out cash, some €8 billion.

An unnamed troika source put the government deficit at one percentage point higher than the target, according to a Reuters report.

The inspectors blame an unexpectedly worsening economy, lower tax revenues and a lag in the implementation of austerity measures.

Finland on Greek collateral: 'It's not about the money'

Finnish minister Alexander Stubb has said his country's demand for Greek collateral is meant to defend the eurozone principle of financial responsibility. But he admitted that Finnish eurosceptics have played their part in the initiative.

Brussels tight-lipped on fresh austerity demands amid row with Athens

The European Commission is remaining tight-lipped over whether Greece will be forced to embrace still deeper cuts and further-reaching restructuring after EU, IMF and European Central Bank inspectors abruptly ended a review mission to Athens on Thursday evening.

Germany estimated to have made €9bn profit out of crisis

Germany has profited to the tune of €9 billion from the eurozone crisis over the past two years, as investors flock to "safe" but near zero interest rate bunds while southern euro-countries struggle with unsustainable rates.

No breakthrough at EU budget summit

EU leaders failed to reach agreement on the EU's long-term budget, as richer states and poorer 'cohesion countries' locked horns. The impasse continues over how to fund the Brexit gap.

EU leaders struggling to break budget deadlock

Cuts to innovation, space, neighbourhood and other programme-spending push down the latest budget proposal on the table of EU leaders. Rebates could stay on, to win the support of the net-payers for a deal.

News in Brief

  1. Danish conservatives want Orban party kicked out of EPP
  2. Dutch finance minister repents on virus help
  3. France to house domestic violence victims in hotels
  4. Europe sends medical goods to Iran, despite US embargo
  5. Commission sets consultation on raising 2030 climate target
  6. 12-year old Belgian girl dies of coronavirus
  7. EU commission: no 'indefinite' emergency measures
  8. Denmark plans 'gradual' return to normal after Easter

Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote

A trade deal with Vietnam sailed through the European Parliament's international trade committee and after its embassy sent MEPs bottles of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne over Christmas.

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Latest News

  1. Without European patriotism, EU decline is inevitable
  2. EU cancels April Fool's 'fake news'
  3. A coronavirus 'Marshall Plan' alone won't be nearly enough
  4. Trying to think straight about coronavirus
  5. Berlin ready to airlift Greek island refugees
  6. Von der Leyen criticises Hungary, but fails to mention it
  7. Air pollution drops in Europe, but how long will it last?
  8. Human rights abusers don't stop for virus, MEPs tell EU

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us