Sept. 18 - Greek finance minister sees deficit squeezed by recession, but Greece has already accomplished two-thirds of fiscal adjustment. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Greece's finance minister Yannis Stournaras forecasts 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.
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 percent.
However, he said in nominal terms the 2012 budget would respect the deficit targets set by its international creditors - the so called troika, despite a multi-year recession which will have seen the economy contract by a quarter of its size by 2014.
(SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER YANNIS STOURNARAS SAYING:
"The recession is truly massive. We are in the fifth consecutive year of recession and it's expected to reach 25 percent by 2014."
"This year the budget will close within the limits that have been accepted by the troika. The progress made from 2010 until today comes primarily from expenditures and less from revenues."
"If indeed things go in the right direction and we finish swiftly so that by the end of October there are decisions at the European Council summit for Greece to receive the next instalment of the loan then I believe a very large part of the uncertainty that exists today will disappear and then we will see the real possibilities of the Greek economy."