According to Greece's finance ministry, in 2012 Greece's government was able to record its first primary surplus in years. This is a measure of a budget based on revenue minus expenditure excluding interest costs and is commonly thought of a measure of fiscal sustainability. During the sovereign debt crisis, it has often been said that Italy has a primary budget surplus but that it's interest costs were the key impediment to further deficit reduction. The actual deficit for 2012 was 6.6 percent of GDP. So that is significantly above the three percent hurdle. The target for 2013, according to Handelsblatt is expected to be between 5.2 and 5.4 percent of GDP. At the start of the crisis, Greece had a deficit of 15.4 percent of GDP.
In Greece's case, this information should have two implicat...
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Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty five years of business experience. He has also been a regular economic and financial commentator in print and on television for the past decade. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.