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Greek parliament votes for probe into 2009 budget deficit

February 23, 2012, 7:20 UTC+3
The commission is to find out whether the 2009 budget deficit parameters were overstated deliberately
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ATHENS, February 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Greek legislators have voted for a special parliamentary probe into the 2009 state budget deficit and the factors that made the EU question Greek statistics.

The proposal, put forward by 111 members of the left-of-center party Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOC), was backed up by 168 legislators, while 76 members of parliament opposed the idea.

The commission is to find out whether the 2009 budget deficit parameters were overstated deliberately. A number of critics have blamed this on the then PASOC government, whose deputies have now initiated the probe in an attempt to receive irrefutable arguments to dismiss such claims.

According to the European statistics agency Eurostat, the deficit of Greece’s state budget in 2009 totaled 15.4 percent of the GDP, in contrast to the three percent permitted in the euro area. The news triggered a crisis of confidence on the financial markets, which left no chance for Athens to re-finance the deficit. In May 2010 the EU and the IMF issued to Greece 110-billion loans in exchange for an austerity program. However, this decision proved insufficient for banishing the threat of Greece’s default or for preventing its economic slump. There followed a second program for financial aid to Greece 130 billion dollars worth, agreed at intensive consultations in Brussels earlier this week.

 

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