The Greek government’s budget deficit is bigger than expected and currently amounts to some â‚¬20 billion ($26 billion), according to preliminary estimates by the so-called troika made up of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, SPIEGEL has learned. The figure is almost double previous estimates.
The next tranche of EU aid can only be paid out to Greece when that budget gap has been closed. The government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is believed to have made several requests for government creditors to forgo debt repayments. He is also hoping that lenders will give his government two years longer to fulfill his austerity program. In that case, Greece would probably require an additional â‚¬20 billion in aid.
Meanwhile a row has erupted between the German government and the European Commission over when the decision will be taken on whether Greece will get any fresh money at all.
The Commission wants a decision to be reached at the next EU summit on Oct. 18-19. But Berlin says there won’t be reliable figures available until November at the earliest.
Via – Spiegel
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