ECONOMY

Athens Olympics budget came to just 8.5 bln in 2004

Greece spent 8.5 billion euros, less than previously reported, to host the Olympic Games in 2004, the year its budget deficit jumped, according to a faxed statement by the Finance Ministry on Monday.

In October 2005, former Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis had said the Games, the most expensive ever, had cost Greece about 10 billion euros.

The country’s budget gap reached 7.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2004, boosted by costs for the event.

Greece narrowed its budget deficit from more than 15 percent of GDP in 2009 -– five times the EU limit –- to 9.4 percent in 2011. The spending gap is due to shrink to below 7 percent of GDP this year and to almost 5 percent in 2013. [Bloomberg]