State budget has reverted to deficit


Greece has returned to budget deficits, instead of surpluses, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bank of Greece data for the January-April period have shown, while the government is preparing to announce a new package of financial measures for the June-September period, probably on Wednesday.

The primary budget deficit (on a cash basis) stood at 2.6 billion euros in the year to end-April, against a surplus of €232 million at the same time last year. 

The impact of the health crisis is reflected both in reduced revenues and increased expenditure: Revenues added up to €13 billion against €14.6 billion a year earlier, and spending jumped from €16.5 billion in 2019 to €18.1 billion this year.

The central government debt has also increased, with a rise in repos in the first quarter of the year, according to the bulletin of the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA).

The debt had reached €361.8 billion by end-March from €356 billion at end-2019. Notably, in that quarter, the state issued a 15-year and a 30-year bond, totaling €5.8 billion.