Athens' deficit is '€20bn' – double official figure
Greece's budget deficit is in reality almost double the amount officially acknowledged by the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and currently stands at about €20bn (£16bn), the German magazine Der Spiegel reported yesterday.
The magazine said it based its figure on a preliminary report from the so-called Troika of experts from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank who are assessing Greek progress in implementing reforms.
Der Spiegel said Athens would qualify for its next tranche of eurozone bailout funding only if the deficit gap were closed. It said Mr Samaras had been asking creditors whether they would be prepared to write off Greece's debts in order to make up the shortfall.
Mr Samaras has also been lobbying European leaders for more time to implement his €11.5bn savings programme which he needs to complete before obtaining €31.5bn of bailout funding.
Carsten Schneider, a German opposition Social Democrat finance expert, said any debt write-off for Greece could cost German taxpayers at least €8bn.
The Troika has yet to deliver its final verdict, although it had been expected in September. Some German media reports suggested yesterday that it would not complete its findings until November.
Meanwhile, Greece continues to face public protests over the cuts mandated by its international lenders. Last week, unions staged a series of strikes in Athens to demonstrate against the measures that have already led to sharp reductions in government spending, affecting public sector workers.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...