A Greek glimmer

Daniel Akst | July 13, 2010

A Wall Street Journal “Heard on the Street” item plays up the early good news from Greece’s austerity program:

In the first half, Greece’s budget deficit came in at €9.6 billion, down 46% from the same period of 2009, the Finance Ministry said this week. Revenues rose 7.2%, while spending fell by 12.8%. Revenue growth remains below target, but not all of the revenue measures have come into effect yet and spending cuts are well ahead. That continues the positive trend identified by the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank in June’s interim review, and makes this year’s deficit target of 8.1% achievable.

The writer’s conclusion is that perhaps a Greek tragedy can be averted after all. This assumes, of course, that the numbers can be believed.


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