State budget expenditure exceeded the target in the year’s first five months. This was not because spending on the Public Investments Program went according to plan – it didn’t – but rather due to the government handouts.
The State General Accounting Office confirmed on Tuesday that spending in January-May 2019 was 255 million euros off target, at 21.94 billion euros compared to a projected 21.69 billion. The office’s statement said this was due to the 971 million euros transferred to the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) for the payment of the so-called 13th pension. This was offset in the budget by the 982 million euros of credit originally set aside to cover any one-off payments to special wage grids. PIP spending was 140 million euros below target.
Increased takings from the Athens Airport concession and the eurozone central banks’ bond earnings led to a primary surplus of 916 million euros.