Fiscal hole grows to 2.6 billion euros

Government revenues fell in the first five months of the year, creating a 2.6-billion-euro fiscal hole after the ministry was forced to return larger-than-expected amounts to taxpayers.

A recently introduced incentive offering tax benefits for those who provide proof of living expenses by collecting register receipts resulted in the ministry returning more money on annual tax returns than planned.

Even though gross revenues rose in May by 2 percent in comparison with the previous month, net revenues for the month dipped 10 percent year-on-year.

Specifically, revenues for the January-May period fell to 17.9 billion euros, from 19.7 billion in the same period last year. The Finance Ministry had expected to collect 20.5 billion euros for the five-month period.

Greece?s 2011 budget targets annual revenue growth of 8 percent.

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