Revenue shortfall puts target at risk

At the end of November Greece was on course to exceed its revised target for the primary surplus of the 2014 budget, with revenues exceeding expenditure by 3.5 billion euros or 2 percent of gross domestic product. However December’s target for 8.43 billion euros in revenues now appears very hard to attain, due to the drop in tax collections and political uncertainty, putting the execution of the budget in doubt.

Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras reiterated on Friday his confidence that the primary surplus will make the target of 1.5 percent of GDP and even end the year at 1.8 percent.

Revenues, on the other hand, are showing a shortfall of 1.2 billion euros and recently a number of taxpayers have stopped paying their dues owing to the political instability.

The ministry must collect 5.8 billion euros this month from income tax, road tax and previous years’ tax dues, along with 600 million euros from the single property tax (ENFIA) and 2 billion euros from the Eurosystem’s profits from Greek bonds.

However, the latter will only be paid if the government reaches an agreement with its creditors by end-February 2015. If the deal is sealed later, the 2 billion euros will count toward 2015 revenues.