Greece - Public finance

The state budget includes ordinary revenues and expenditures and a special investment budget administered by the Ministry of Coordination. The public sector, which employs 15% of the workforce, has many more civil servants than required for a country the size of Greece. Public payrolls, liberal social security benefits, and loss-generating state owned companies have all contributed to a government deficit. Recent austerity measures implemented to meet the criteria for European Monetary Union membership significantly lowered the budget shortfall.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 1998 Greece's central government took in revenues of approximately $45 billion and had expenditures of $47.6 billion. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $2.6 billion. External debt totaled $63.4 billion.

The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues and expenditures. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.


REVENUE AND GRANTS 100.2% 45,109
Tax revenue 82.9% 37,290
Non-tax revenue 6.2% 2,809
Capital revenue 0.6% 266
Grants 10.5% 4,744
EXPENDITURES 100.0% 47,609
General public services 4.6% 2,179
Defense 8.4% 4,001
Public order and safety 3.3% 1,577
Education 10.8% 5,153
Health 7.1% 3,361
Social security 17.9% 8,531
Housing and community amenities 2.3% 1,092
Recreation, cultural, and religious affairs 1.3% 597
Economic affairs and services 12.5% 5,952
Other expenditures 2.7% 1,268
Interest payments 29.2% 13,898

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