Greece Cuts Spending, Reaches Surplus

February 12, 2013 Taxation in Greece

GreeceATHENS – Greece’s budget is no longer in deficit, but achieving the goal has forced  the country to significantly slash public spending and reduce the amount of tax refunds being made to taxpayers.

After months of financial turmoil and economic downturns, the Ministry of Finance of Greece issued a press release on February 10th claiming that the country saw a budgetary surplus of EUR 159 million over the month of January.

The achievement came despite a drop in national tax revenues, with  tax collections for the month of January reaching EUR 4.42 billion, approximately 11 percent lower than during the same period in 2012.

The government reached the positive budgetary balance by reducing the number of tax refunds made in January, paying out only EUR 45 million compared to a target of EUR 311 million.

In its efforts to attain a surplus, the government of Greece also slashed investment into public projects and infrastructure development, spending only EUR 67 million in January, despite budgeting for an expenditure of EUR 200 million.

Commenting on the results announced by the Ministry, the Deputy Finance Minister of Greece Christos Staikouras said that while the budget was positive in January ” …there’s no room for complacency,” and “…attention and intensification of effort is required on the revenue side.”

Photo by Nikita Avvakumov