A revised picture
We always knew that our fiscal situation was far from healthy – «creative accounting» may help a bit but it has its limits and at some point the truth will burst out. And so it did earlier this week when that which we were well aware of also became known to «the others» over there in Brussels. The deficit which the government had set at 2.95 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) was revised to 3 percent by the European Commission, which slated us for violating the Stability Pact and also revised our public debt to 103 percent of GDP – a figure significantly higher than the one which had been announced by the previous government. It also set our growth rate at 4.2 percent last year and 4 percent this year, with a sluggish 3.3 percent predicted for next year. Are we now in danger of suffering the predicted penalties for our deficit and for deviating from the Stability Pact? We will know soon enough. The bad thing, though, is that Greece is not only relatively poor for the EU but also weak (despite all the rhetoric about a «sturdy Greece»). In other words, we do not have the influence to put up a credible protest against the impending penalties (namely the imposition of restrictive measures by the EU). And although the government complains it inherited existing problems from its PASOK predecessor, this probably won’t save it from having to put some pre-election promises on hold.