THE GREEK GOVERNMENT has announced that its income for the first month of the year was €1 billion lower than expected.
Greek news site Ekathimerini reports that data published by the Ministry of Finance this morning showed that the government’s revenues for January were down by 7 per cent on the same period last year.
That contrasts with Budget projections which had anticipated an 8.9 per cent increase on last year’s income – leaving a gap of €1 billion more than the budget had expected.
The Budget, presented by the cabinet of technocrat prime minister Lucas Papademos in November, had actually projected a surplus for the year – but that achievement now seems particularly unlikely.
A breakdown of government revenue showed that VAT receives were down by 18.7 per cent from last year – firmly indicating that the country’s ongoing financial crisis is having a drastic effect on spending by the public.
That spending power is likely to wane even further, with the parliament having ratified a severe new austerity deal on Sunday which cuts the country’s minimum wage by a fifth.
The figures meant the hypothetical cost of borrowing for Greece – which is not borrowing on open markets because of its EU-IMF arrangements – surged to yet another record high.
If Greece was borrowing from the open markets, it would pay an annual interest rate of 207.4 per cent – while Germany, the eurozone’s benchmark economy, would pay less than 0.25 per cent.