Bloomberg News

Greek Parliament Report Lacks Credible Data, Venizelos Says

September 01, 2011

(Adds details from report in second paragraph.)

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- A Greek parliamentary report that said the dynamics of the country’s debt are “out of control” lacks the credible data used by international organizations, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said.

The report from the Parliamentary Budget Office yesterday said Greece’s deepening recession will weigh on the country’s debt, even after European Union leaders moved to cut rates on official loans a month ago, easing the burden. The fiscal deficit will reach 8.8 percent of gross domestic product this year, higher than the target of 7.6 percent, the report said.

“Yesterday’s report doesn’t contain the credible data used in international reports,” Venizelos said in a statement today e-mailed by the Finance Ministry in Athens. The Parliamentary Budget Office lacks the “knowledge, experience and responsibility” of organizations like the European Commission, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Bank of Greece, he said.

It was the second monthly fiscal report from the office, which was established last year to provide parliamentary oversight of the government’s finances under the terms of a 110 billion-euro ($157 billion) EU-led aid package.

The document said an IMF estimate that Greek debt will reach 172 percent of GDP in 2012 before stabilizing was made before signs emerged of a “significantly deeper” recession.

Venizelos said earlier this month the economy may contract between 4.5 percent and 5.3 percent this year, more than the 3.8 percent forecast by the EU and the IMF.

--With assistance from Paul Tugwell and Maria Petrakis in Athens. Editors: Eddie Buckle, Simone Meier

To contact the reporters on this story: Eleni Chrepa in Athens at echrepa@bloomberg.net; Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net.


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