OSE workers protest; fiscal data mixed

Workers from the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) are seen protesting yesterday outside the Transport Ministry in Athens against the planned privatization of the loss-making state company. The government is targeting annual revenues of 1 billion euros over the next three years in a bid to pay down public debt. Meanwhile, Finance Ministry data showed Greek budget revenues in the first five months of 2010 rose but at a rate below the annual target. Ordinary net budget revenues, which exclude social security funds and local government, grew 8.3 percent year-on-year versus a targeted 11.7 percent increase, according to the country’s stability and growth plan. The ministry said ordinary budget spending in the same period fell 10.6 percent, exceeding a targeted contraction of 4.8 percent. As a result, it said the budget gap shrank by 38.8 percent to 8.97 billion euros from 14.65 billion in the same period a year earlier as opposed to a 35.1 targeted decrease.