Greece Records 6-Billion Euro Primary Deficit for First Half of 2020



 

Greek Finance Ministry, Athens. File photo

The Greek state budget recorded a primary deficit of 6.101 billion euros in the first half of 2020, from a budget target for a primary surplus of 313 million euros and after a primary surplus of 381 million in the corresponding period in 2019, the Finance Ministry said on Monday.

The Ministry attributed this development to reduced revenue due to the lockdown and to higher spending to deal with the impact of the pandemic crisis.

The report on budget execution, on an amended cash basis, in the period from January to June 2020 showed a deficit of 9.232 billion euros, from a budget target for a shortfall of 2.626 billion and a deficit of 2.687 billion in the same period last year. The primary result showed a deficit of 6.101 billion euros.

Net revenue totaled 18.996 billion euros, down 17 percent from budget targets, while regular budget revenue was 21.257 billion euros, down 14.1 percent from targets. Tax revenue totaled 18.262 billion euros, down 13.33 percent from targets.

Tax revenue fell short of targets in the categories of VAT on oil products (-26.1 percent), VAT on tobacco products (-5.0 percent), VAT on other goods and services (-15.3 percent), and the special consumption tax on energy products (-10.6 percent).

The special consumption tax on tobacco also saw a decrease, at -49.9 percent, as well as stamp revenue (-21.3 percent), taxes on financial and capital transactions (-24.6 percent), taxes in vehicle registration (-33.2 percent), and other taxes on goods (-34 percent).

Tax and duties raised on imports were also down (-18.1 percent), and property taxes (-14.6 percent), income taxes (-8.7 percent), capital taxes (-42.8 pct), and transfer taxes (-10.9 percent), were likewise contracted.

The taxes on goods and services (40.3 percent) and taxes on property sales (99.4 percent) were also down.

Tax returns totaled 2.262 billion euros in the six-month period, up 408 million from targets, while Public Investment Revenue income came to 1.647 billion euros, down 350 million from the targets. State budget spending, accordingly, amounted to 28.227 billion euros in the first half, up 2,703 billion from budget targets and up 2,505 billion euros compared with the same period last year.

In June, Greece’s budget revenue was 2.967 billion euros, down 1.191 billion from monthly targets, while regular budget revenue was 3.454 billion euros, down 992 million from monthly targets.

Tax returns received by the state totaled 487 million euros, up 199 million from targets, while Public Investment Program revenue was 353 million euros, down 467 million from the targets.

State budget spending was 4.704 billion euros, an increase of 432 million from the targets.