Deficit climbs to 4.7 bln euros

The budget deficit came to 4.7 billion euros in the first quarter of the year, up from 2.8 billion in the same period in 2011, according to figures released yon Wednesday by the Finance Ministry.

The government?s target is for the deficit not to exceed 13.3 billion euros at the end of the year. However, the general fear is that the current election period is going to disrupt the effective collection of revenues.

The ministry confirmed that the 2011 deficit amounted to 9.1 percent of gross domestic product.

The official data also showed that the Greek state?s outstanding debts to third parties and suppliers registered a small increase compared to the previous quarter (by 13 million euros), taking the total to 6.3 billion euros, and indicate that the state has yet to start repaying its debts, which would resuscitate growth in the country?s shrinking economy.

The debts of ministries grew by 74 million euros in the January-March period, while those of local authorities declined by 59 million euros.