ATHENS, Greece – These are the economic figures for Greece, which holds an election on Sunday, June 17, that could result in the country leaving the eurozone, with voters fed up with austerity measures promised in return for bailout aid.
EUROZONE ENTRY: Greece joined the eurozone as its 12th member in 2001. After government borrowing rates soared, it secured in 2010 a bailout of 110 billion euros ($137.1 billion). A second package was agreed earlier this year involving 130 billion euros in loans plus a 107-billion-euro private sector debt write-off. Both were in return for promises of tough austerity cuts.
PUBLIC DEBT: Greece has the highest debt-to-output ratio in the 17-nation eurozone, exceeding by far the limit of 60% of gross domestic product. Total debt came to 144.9% in 2010 and jumped to an estimated 161.7% in 2011.
The debt is forecast to fall to 145.5% in 2012 and to 120.5% by 2020 under the terms of the second bailout.
PUBLIC DEFICIT: Greece’s annual public deficit — the shortfall between government revenue and spending — was 10.6% in 2010. Government officials put it at 9.6% of GDP in 2011.
The latest European Commission forecast is for it to fall to 7% in 2012 before taking into account debt-reduction measures.
The government estimated in a draft law last month that its deficit would amount to 6.7% this year, up from a previous forecast of 5.4%.
GROWTH: GDP was 227.3 billion euros in 2010 (Eurostat). That year the economy shrank by 4.5% and was estimated to have contracted by more than 5.5% in 2011. A contraction of 2.8% is expected in 2012, the fifth straight year of recession. Growth of 0.7% is forecast in 2013. The EU estimates that the economy will have contracted by 15% since the beginning of the debt crisis.
ACTIVITY: The Greek economy accounts for less than 3% of total eurozone output. The unofficial economy is believed to account for a third of all Greek activity. Tourism and shipping dominate. Many sectors are seen as uncompetitive compared to other eurozone countries.
INFLATION: 4.7% in 2010, 2.8% in 2011 and 0.6% in 2012 (2012 budget). Official data put 12-month inflation at 1.4% in May, a decline from the April reading of 1.9%.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Official data put the number of unemployed in the first quarter at 22.6% of the workforce. The jobless rate for 15-24 year-olds not in school or university is more than 50%.
POPULATION: 10.78 million, down from 11.28 million in 2009, according to the latest official figures in May, as migrants leave owing to the economic downturn and birth rates remain low.
POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS: Parliamentary democracy with 300 deputies elected for 4 years, forming a government led currently by interim Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos. The president is Carolos Papoulias, elected by parliament in 2010 for 5 years, whose office is largely ceremonial. – Agence France-Presse