BUSINESS

Eurostat says Greek debt fell to 156.9% of GDP in 2012, deficit at 10%

Greek government debt declined from 170.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2011 to 156.9 percent of GDP at the end of last year, according to figures published by Eurostat on Monday.

The European Union’s statistical arm also found that Greece’s deficit rose from 9.5 percent of GDP in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012.

Greek public debt peaked at 355 billion euros in 2011, falling to 303 billion euros last year, following the restructuring process known as PSI, which entailed private sector bondholders suffering a large haircut on their investment.

According to Eurostat, Greek government expenditure rose from 52 billion euros in 2011 to 54.8 billion last year.

Public revenues rose from 42.4 billion euros in 2011 to 44.7 billion euros a year later.

Overall, in the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio decreased from 4.2 percent in 2011 to 3.7 percent in 2012, and in the EU27 from 4.4 percent to 4.0 percent.

In the euro area, the government debt to GDP ratio increased from 87.3 percent at the end of 2011 to 90.6 percent at the end of 2012, and in the EU27 from 82.5 percent to 85.3 percent.

Last year, Greece had the second-highest public deficit in the EU last year after Spain, where it reached 10.6 percent of GDP. It had the highest public debt ratio among the 27 member states.

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