Greece likely to miss budget targets, says Venizelos

Greece may slightly miss its 2011 budget deficit target and not return to growth in 2012 due to deeper than expected recession this year, the country’s finance minister said on Friday.

“If we fully and systematically implement the (austerity) measures already agreed and voted, we will be very close to our fiscal target and change the climate,» Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told lawmakers.

“I am not saying that we will definitely post positive growth, but recession will subside drastically, creating a whole new situation,» he added.

Greece targets a budget deficit of 7.6 percent of GDP this year from 10.5 percent in 2010.