ECONOMY

Figures reveal Greek European Union presidency was a showcase of fiscal discipline and frugality

Greece’s presidency of the European Union in the first half of the year was successful not only politically, as generally acknowledged, but also financially, in the sense that costs were contained within budget limits and were below those of previous presidencies. According to data provided by Deputy Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis to questioning opposition deputies, the total cost reached 72.4 million euros, of which the Foreign Ministry accounted for 30.4 million and the Press Ministry for 6.0 million. Trips by traveling Greek and foreign officials cost 13.8 million euros. The end-of-tenure summit in Halkidiki, which was attended by the leaders of the enlarged EU and other prospecting members, cost a hefty 20.3 million euros. Yiannitsis said the expenses were within the budget target and despite unforeseen events, such as the Iraq summit in Brussels in February, the wide geographical dispersion of the contacts required and Athens’s hosting of the signing treaty for EU enlargement in April.