FACTBOX - Austerity measures around the euro zone

REUTERS - Following is a country-by-country summary of austerity measures planned by governments in the euro zone:

People wait to enter a government job centre in Madrid August 2, 2010. REUTERS/Susana Vera


-- EU/IMF bailout beneficiary Greece plans to narrow its budget gap from 13.6 percent of GDP in 2009 to 8.1 percent this year, 7.6 percent in 2011 and 2.6 percent in 2014.

Austerity measures include:

-- Public sector pay freeze until 2014.

-- Christmas, Easter and summer holiday bonuses abolished for civil servants earning above 3,000 euros a month.

-- Public sector allowances cut by an additional 8 percent. These allowances had already been cut by 12 percent.

-- Freeze pensions in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

-- The retirement age for women will be lifted by 5 years to 65 to match men and the number of contribution years will rise from 35-37 to 40.

-- The main VAT rate was increased by 4 percentage points to 23 percent. Excise taxes on fuel, cigarettes and alcohol were increased by 20 percent in total.


-- Spain’s parliament has ratified labour reforms aimed at reviving the euro zone’s No.4 economy. The process of debating and amending a bill on the reforms could take a year.

-- The government in May announced fresh spending cuts totalling 15 billion euros in 2010 and 2011. Spain’s deficit targets are 9.3 percent of GDP in 2010 and 6 percent in 2011, compared to 11.2 percent in 2009.

Here are details of cuts and measures:

-- Civil service salaries will be cut by 5 percent in 2010 and frozen in 2011. More than 6 billion euros to be cut from public investment.

-- Suspension of yearly pension increases in 2011

-- Elimination of 2,500 euros birth payment from 2011.

-- 70 road projects put on hold for 2011.

-- VAT increased to 18 percent from 16 percent from July 1.


-- Portugal’s parliament approved the government’s austerity package in June to speed up a reduction in the budget deficit to 7.3 percent of GDP in 2010 and 4.6 percent in 2011, from 9.4 percent in 2009. Portugal aims to save 2 billion euros in 2010.

-- Portugal ruled out drawing on euro zone aid, citing a successful bond sale and economic recovery in the first quarter.

-- Prime Minister Jose Socrates and opposition leader Pedro Passos Coelho drew up steps in June to slash the budget deficit.

Measures include:

-- 5 percent pay cuts for senior public sector staff and politicians.

-- Increases in VAT sales tax, income tax and profits tax up to 2.5 percent.

-- The minority Socialist government also plans to slash health and education tax benefits next year, but Passos Coelho said his party will not support the measures in 2011 budget as it wants deeper spending cuts instead.


-- President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government is already seeking 40 billion euros in savings to reduce the budget gap to 6 percent of GDP in 2011 from an estimated 8 percent in 2010 under a pledge to comply with an EU ceiling of 3 percent by 2013.

-- 15 billion will come from winding down its anti-recession stimulus and the end of a one-off business tax reform, plus 14 billion from spending cuts and 11 billion more from taxes due to stronger growth and a widening of the tax net.

Here are details of cuts and measures:

-- Plans to raise the retirement age to 62 from 60 by 2018, make people work longer for a full pension and raise public sector contributions to private sector levels.

-- Top rate of income tax will be raised to 41 percent from 40 percent to help fund the pension regime.

-- Taxes on capital gains and investment income will also rise by a point.

-- All spending except pensions and interest payments on government debt frozen between 2011-2013 and state operating costs cut by 10 percent over that period.

-- Non-replacement of one civil servant out of every two who retire is projected to result in elimination of 100,000 posts in 2011-2013, generating several billion euros of savings.

-- Around 1,700 public buildings will be sold off. Office space will be cut by more than 500,000 m2 in three years.

-- State intervention spending such as subsidies and social support will be cut by 10 percent.

-- France will make savings on its defence budget of 3.5 billion euros in 2011-2013, a source close to the issue said.


-- Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government won a confidence vote in July on a 25 billion euro austerity package.

-- Italy aims to cut its budget deficit to 2.7 percent of GDP by 2012 from 5.3 percent in 2009.

Here are some of the measures:

-- Delaying retirement dates by three to six months, a state salary freeze and pay cuts for high public sector earners.

-- Regional and local governments will be pressed to contribute some 13 billion euros of spending cuts in 2011-2012.

-- There will be a 10 percent cut per year in 2011 and 2012 in spending by all government ministries. Provincial governments with less than 220,000 inhabitants will be abolished.

-- Abolition of publicly funded think tanks.


-- Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government aims to save around 80 billion euros between 2011 and 2014 and get the German budget deficit below European Union limits by 2013.

-- The 2011 budget, going before parliament by the end of November, will cut spending by 3.8 percent from 2010 and reduce the deficit to 60 billion euros.

-- The cabinet agreed a package in June which will cut welfare spending by 30 billion euros over the period, reduce public sector payrolls by up to 15,000 by 2014 and raise new taxes on nuclear power plant operators and air travel.

-- The government also hopes to realise some 5.5 billion euros through subsidy cuts and raise 2 billion per year from a financial transactions tax.

-- Defence ministry experts have drawn up a list of potential savings in weapons and equipment worth more than 9.3 billion euros.


-- Ireland has carried out some of the harshest austerity measures in the euro zone. Its public sector unions passed a pay deal in June, ending low-key protests but limiting Dublin’s options in making 3 billion euros of savings apiece in the next two budgets. The budget for 2010 presented in December projected a deficit of 11.6 percent of gross domestic product, a figure that could rise to as much as 25 percent due to the rising burden of bailing out its banks.

Measures include:

-- Cutting public service salaries by 5-15 percent in a 2010 budget that inflicted 4 billion euros of cuts. The government has promised no further public sector pay cuts until 2014

-- Three austerity budgets presented in Oct. 2008, April 2009 and Dec. 2010, with the first two focused on tax rises.