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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-05

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] ECOFIN officially ends EDP against Greece

  • [01] ECOFIN officially ends EDP against Greece

    Greece's fiscal deficit was reduced below 3.0 pct of GDP in a "reliable and sustainable way", the EU's Economy and Finance Ministers' Council (ECOFIN) officially announced on Tuesday, adopting a proposal to end budget disciplinary procedures against Greece for previous excessive fiscal deficits.

    The main conclusion of ECOFIN's decision is that "the excessive deficit condition in Greece has been corrected and the Council decides to annul a previous decision on the existence of excessive deficits in Greece".

    The Council, in its decision, noted that the country's fiscal deficit fell from 7.9 pct of GDP in 2004 to 2.6 pct of GDP in 2006, mainly through measures of a permanent nature and with certain temporary measures accounting for 0.6 pct of GDP.

    The Council expects the fiscal deficit to fall by 0.25 pct of GDP this year, to 2.4 pct, and urged continued vigilance in adhering to fiscal discipline in the future, while reiterating its preference for measures of a "permanent nature."

    The ECOFIN Council said Greece's public debt was adequately reduced towards the 60 pct of GDP benchmark level, falling from 108.5 pct of GDP in 2004 to 104.6 pct in 2006. The Council expects the country's public debt to fall to 97.6 pct of GDP in 2008.

    "Greek statistics bureau authorities have improved procedures, reducing statistical divergence and improving the quality of statistical data," the Council said, while it noted that Eurostat withdrew all reservations over the quality of Greek economic data.

    The Council noted that a recent GDP revision by the Greek government would result in a higher contribution by the country towards the EU budget, reaching 0.25 pct of GDP, while a retroactive contribution would reach 0.75 pct of GDP. It noted, however, that this burden was not expected to push the fiscal deficit above the 3.0 pct level.

    Caption: Monetary Affairs Commissioner Spanish Joaquin Almunia speaks during a news conference on deficit procedures for Germany, Greece and Malta and convergence Reports on Cyprus and Malta at the EU headquarters in Brussels, 16 May 2007. ANA-MPA / EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET


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