Figures reveal Greeks are becoming wealthier

Greece’s GDP in 2007 reached 98 percent of the European Union’s average, moving up from 94 percent in 2004, in figures that indicate that wealth among Greeks has been moving closer to European levels. According to figures released yesterday by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, Greece’s position on the EU’s gross domestic product list that ranks 27 countries was number 14, behind Italy and Spain. The figures include Greece’s 10 percent upward revision of national data to take into account the construction sector, methods for calculating the depreciation of public infrastructure and the size of the underground economy. According to some estimates, Greece’s black economy is about a third of the country’s regular 220-billion-euro annual GDP. Countries such as Italy and Britain have seen their annual economic output drop over the same four-year period. Topping the list of the wealthiest union members is Luxembourg, whose GDP reached 276 percent of the EU average last year, followed by Ireland and the Netherlands. At the bottom of the list are Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. Turkey also showed an improvement, according to the statistics agency.