ATHENS - Greek budget deficit was reduced by 46 percent in the first half of 2010 to 9.645 billion euros ($12.144 billion) from 17.866 billion euros the same period in 2009, the Greek Finance Ministry announced on Monday.
The preliminary data available suggest that the implementation of the state debt-ridden country's state budget is "right on track". The official announcement stressed that the initial target set in the Stability and Growth Program to lead Greece out of the economic crisis was 39.5 percent.
"The fiscal result of the first six months of 2010 is due to both restriction of expenditures and revenue increases. Furthermore, these do not yet fully reflect all fiscal measures included in the Government's program for 2010," said the announcement.
Due to a severe debt crisis, this year Greece pledged to implement harsh austerity measures and structural reforms in order to reduce a budget deficit currently at 13.6 percent of GDP to less than three percent over a three-year period. By 2011 the Greek government intends to have the deficit declined to 8.1 percent, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou stressed last week.
According to the data released by the Greek Finance Ministry on Monday, net revenues increased by 7.2 percent compared to the same period last year, against an annual target set for an increase of 13.7 percent. Budget expenditures declined by 12.8 percent on an annual basis against a targeted 5.5 percent reduction.
Primary spending fell 12.7 percent (budget target of 5.4 percent), while interest spending fell by 13.3 percent (budget target of a 5.6 percent growth).
Public Investment Budget expenditures declined by 39.8 percent, whereas revenues decreased by 40.2 percent, compared to the same period of 2009.