Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm all with you in blaming banks and not forgetting that the GDP ratio depends on the GDP estimate too, but the mis-reporting of Greece's deficits wasn't in projections and wasn't just in percent-of-GDPs. You may recall the November 2010 revisions. However, those were preceded by more significant revisions, which accounted for a combination of creative booking (in which Goldman Sachs advised the government) and bad tracking of data. Check this EU report for a summary. The corrections were significant in Euros, too, see for example tables on page 19 in the report, which show both the nominal and percentage value of the corrections done in 2009. For the last full year of the Karamanlis government, 2008, the deficit increased to the tune of €6 billion, most of it being hospital liabilities.

You are also wrong about the debt ratio not changing due to the revisions. Check pages 13-14 of that report for the changes in the debt ratio from 2000 to 2008. Upward revisions are due to mis-estimates, though apparently mostly ones different from those behind the deficit mis-estimates. However, the most significant change in the debt ratios is a ~10 pp downward revision done in 2007 (the report doesn't say but this one is associated with the inclusion of the black economy in the GDP estimate, I found).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Nov 26th, 2011 at 01:40:28 PM EST
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