Greece likely to miss deficit target this year

Greece faces more demands for fiscal tightening as senior government officials acknowledge that the country is likely to overshoot limits set on its budget deficit this year.

Greece’s deficit could exceed 8.5% of gross domestic product, compared with an official forecast for 7.6%, as the government struggles to meet revenue goals, two senior Greek government officials said Thursday.

The deficit is now estimated at “around 8.5%, or a bit higher. Tax collection remains the main problem,” one of the officials said. “Many simply don’t have the money to pay taxes. We have to get the economy going but the austerity is holding everything back.”

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos already has publicly acknowledged that Greece’s economic recession is likely to cause the government to overshoot its deficit forecast this year.

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