The disclosed data confirm the press release published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on April 14. According to that ELSTAT announcement, figures include the impact of banks’ support amounting to 19.27 billion. Excluding this burden, gg deficit lands at 3.84 billion (2.1 percent of GDP).
ELSTAT had also unveiled that the 2013 gg primary deficit stood at 15.89 billion (8.7 percent of GDP), which is turning to a primary surplus of 3.39 billion if we exclude the banks’ support impact.
Note that both Eurostat and ELSTAT figures are under the ESA95 rules, while the Eurostat announcement does not dispute the Greek figures.
Following Eurostat’s announcement, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) issued a press release noting that the 2013 primary surplus reached 1.5 billion euros (0.8 percent of GDP) under the Economic Adjustment Programme (EAP) rules.
This figure was also confirmed by the European Commission (EC) spokesman Simon O’ Connor during a midday press briefing.
In particular, he noted that the headline deficit figure of 12.7 percent results in a primary deficit of 8.7 percent, if interest payments amounting to 4 percent are excluded. According to the EAP definition, adjustments of 9.5 percent were applied mainly related to banks’ support (10.8 percent) and transfers from Member States corresponding to profits on Greek bonds held by Eurosystem Central Banks (1.5 percent), which result in the primary surplus of 0.8 percent of GDP announced on Wednesday.
“The 2013 primary surplus is well ahead of 2013 target – which was for a balanced primary budget – and is a reflection of the remarkable progress that Greece has made in repairing its public finances since 2010,” said O’Connnor.
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*Photo by AFP