ATHENS, Nov. 16 -- The Greek Finance Ministry Monday pledged further efforts to curtail the country's budget deficit and debt.
The pledge came after the European Statistics Agency Eurostat Monday released its final data on the Greek budget deficit and debt. The figures were calculated taken into account the deficits of Greek state-run organizations and Social Security Funds.
According to the new data, the Greek budget deficit for 2006 stood at 5.7 percent of the GDP (12.1 billion euros or 16.5 billion U.S. dollars), for 2007 at 6.4 percent of the GDP, for 2008 at 9.4 percent of the GDP and for 2009 at 15.4 percent of the GDP (36.1 billion euros or 49.2 billion dollars).
The Greek debt for 2006 stood at 106.1 percent of the GDP (224.2 billion euros or 305.6 billion dollars), for 2007 at 105 percent of the GDP, for 2008 at 110.3 percent of the GDP and for 2009 at 126.8 percent (298 billion euros or 406.2 billion dollars).
For 2010 the deficit stands at 9.4 percent and debt at 144 percent of the GDP, adds the statement released by the Greek Finance Ministry, stressing that it shrank by 6 percent (more than 14 billion euros or 19.08 billion dollars ) in a year.
This is the biggest drop in deficit achieved in Greece or any other member country of the eurozone so far, the Greek Finance Ministry said in a statement, pledging to continue efforts to slash it to less than 3 percent in a three-year period through the Stability and Growth Program to exit the debt crisis.
Despite the worst starting point, the Greek government will achieve the targets set through the better management of state expenses, said the statement.
Greece reached the brink of default this spring after the outbreak of an acute debt crisis in late 2009, but secured a multi-billion euro aid package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for harsh austerity policies.
The revision of the Greek budget deficit and debt was announced, as a team of EU and International Monetary Fund officials started on Monday in Athens a new round of talks with Greek officials on the progress of the implementation of the austerity and reform program. Based on their report, by year end a new tranche of financial aid of the EU and IMF is expected to be released to Greece.