Graph of the day. Government deficits in the Eurozone.
In the four quarters 2013-IV to 2014-III (more recent data are not yet available on Eurostat) the Greek government deficit was smaller than the Dutch and Finnish deficit and about half as large the Irish and Portuguese size. Mind that the Dutch and the Finnish governments love to lecture the Greek. As, in 2014, the Greek real economy grew with about 0.5% but the country also experienced, in line with the austerity plan, 2.6% deflation, nominal GDP contracted with 2%. Which means that the country needed a government surplus of about 4% just to keep the debt to GDP ratio stable… Despite this, it still is the case that Greece decreased its government deficit (excluding transfer incomes to banks) more and faster than Spain, Portugal and Ireland. It seems that, to obtain Troika funding, it does not matter what you do. Just tell them they are right.