Greek budget deficit 4.7 billion euros in Q1

Greek budget deficit met budget provisions in the first quarter of 2011, rising to 4.701 billion euros from 4.371 billion euros in the same period last year, the Finance ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry, in a report on budget execution in the January-March period, said this goal was achieved through a significant reduction of spending despite the fact that state budget revenues fell short by 766 million euros in the three-month period.

Net revenues totaled 11.123 billion euros in the January-March period, down 8.0 pct from the same period in 2010, reflecting a larger-than-expected economic recession in the last quarter of 2010, a non-repeat of vehicle registration duties by 393 million euros, lower revenues from an extra tax charge on profitable corporations and lower revenues from withholding taxes. On other hand, revenues of a Public Investment Program was up 121.4 pct, or 605 million euros. First quarter revenues were based on a cash flow basis.

Regular budget spending grew 3.5 pct compared with the first quarter of 2010, reflecting higher spending on state hospital debt and higher interest payments. Primary spending, however, fell 2.3 pct while spending on a Public Investment Program dropped 55.3 pct.

The ministry report said the figures covered state budget execution and not total fiscal data for the general government’s deficit.

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