NEWS

Past burdens new budget

Eurostat’s recalculation of Greece’s fiscal figures deflated some of the optimism regarding public finances, but the 2003 budget proposal has also indicated the structural burdens on the Greek economy. From the budget, it appears that 74.2 percent of state spending will go on wages, pensions, interest payments and social security funds. About 11.9 percent will go toward development and the rest toward various state expenses. In other words, 51.6 billion euros of the budget’s total 69.8 billion will go toward refinancing debt, the payment of wages and pensions and covering social security funds. These are the three great areas of inelastic expenditure which, despite claims of fiscal reform, dominate the State’s accounts, keeping funds from development and showing that economic policy continues to be burdened by the past.