Greek budget deficit up to 12.747 billion euros in H1

Greek state budget deficit widened to 12.747 billion euros in the first half of 2011, up from a budget target for a shortfall of 10.374 billion euros and from a deficit of 9.997 billion euros in the January-June period last year, the Finance ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry, in a report, said that budget revenues fell behind schedule by 3.016 billion euros in the first six months of the year, while spending were down by 644 million euros in the six-month period. Net budget revenues totaled 21.818 billion euros, down 8.3 pct from 2010, reflecting a larger than expected economic recession in the country and non-repeat of 2010 revenues. The Public Investments Program’s revenues were up 87.7 pct or by 337 million euros in the January-June period.
The finance ministry, in a statement said a shortfall in revenues was expected to be effectively dealt with in the second half of the year with the performance of tax measures included in a Medium-term Fiscal Strategy Programe. Regular budget spending rose 8.8 pct from 2010, reflecting higher interest payments, increased subsidies to pension funds, higher payments for unemployment benefits and higher payments for state hospital debt.
Primary spending rose 4.5 pct, or by 1.111 billion euros, while the Public Investments Program’s spending fell 42.3 pct.

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