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22 May, 2013

Three years of austerity: "Zero in the quotient" for public debt

Greek debt update

Despite three years of hard austerity policies, Greek debt stays ... unmoved. Specifically, according to the official Public Debt Report, published on Tuesday by the Finance Ministry, in late March 2013, public debt soared to 309 billion euros. In March 2012, shortly after the first haircut (PSI), public debt was nearly 280.3 billion euros, while in March 2010, just before the Memorandum, 310.3 billion euros. Therefore, the result is “zero in the quotient”.

That is, within 12 months, from March 2012 to March 2013, Greece's debt increased by 29 billion euros, despite its second restructure (bond swap), held in December 2012, and resulted in savings of about $ 20 billion .

Three years ago, on 31 March 2010, shortly before the adaptation of Memorandum, the central government debt was 310.3 billion, according, always, to the official Public Debt Report announced by the Ministry of Finance. So after three years of efforts, Greece managed to reduce its debt in absolute numbers by just 1 billion.

At the same time, the shrinking Greek GDP by 25%, due to the austerity measures, is making public debt non-viable. Moreover, the European Commission estimates that general government debt will reach 175% of GDP in 2013 and 2014, falling to 160% of GDP in 2016.

It is estimated that the increased debt in the last 12 months, is primarily due to loans received by the country from the eurozone and IMF to meet the needs of recapitalization of Greek banks, but also due to the obligations of public sector.

According to the European Commision report on the Greek program, the total loans given to Greece by the EU-IMF from 2010 until now, reach 205.1 billion euros. Specifically, 73 billion euros were given from the first program (52.9 billion from eurozone Member States and 20.1 billion from the IMF), and 132.1 billion euros from the second program, from 2012 onwards (127.3 from EFSF and 4.84 from IMF).

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