ECONOMY

Bleak picture in state revenues

November deficit and revenue figures are painting an ever bleaker picture as it has become blatently clear that there is no way of meeting the 2011 budget.

State revenues posted the biggest annual decline last month since the start of the year, contracting by 13.3 percent from November 2010.

That was during a month when the state cashed in on the solidarity tax, the levy to exercise one?s profession and the special property tax levied via electricity bills. Revenues now trail the revised target by 2.68 billion euros.

More striking is the fact that revenues collected by the tax authorities contracted by 19.3 percent year-on-year, while customs revenues dropped 16.9 percent in the same period.

The figures leave the government no choice but to take new measures in early 2012 to the tune of at least 2 billion euros in order to plug the new fiscal hole.

As a result, the 2011 budget deficit could climb above 9.5 percent of gross domestic product, against a revised target of 9 percent.