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Greece records its first primary budget surplus excluding interest in 2012

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. [Content protected for Gold members only]

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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 years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. 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. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.