ATHENS, Sept 18 Greece's finance minister
forecast on Tuesday a wider-than-expected primary deficit for
2012 due to the deepening recession but said Athens was on
course to meet the limits set by international creditors for the
budget deficit in nominal terms.
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said the primary deficit,
excluding debt servicing costs, would amount to 1.5 percent of
gross domestic product, compared with a previous forecast of 1.0
However, he said in nominal terms the 2012 budget would
respect the deficit targets set by its international creditors,
despite a multi-year recession which will have seen the economy
contract by a quarter of its size by 2014.
"The budget this year will close within the limits set by
the troika," he said in a conference speech.
"The recession is great. We are in its fifth year and
cumulatively so far, recession was of the order of 20 percent
and it is expected to reach 25 percent by 2014," he said.