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Athens (AFP) — Greece’s budget deficit was 3.5 percent of GDP in 2014, the official statistical agency said Wednesday, more than doubling forecasts.

The government that preceded the radical leftist government elected in January had forecast a deficit of 1.3 percent of GDP, while the European Commission’s forecast was 1.6 percent.

Data on the primary surplus — budget balance between interest payments on debt — also missed earlier forecasts.

The previous government had expected primary surplus to be 2.0 percent of output although Wednesday’s data showed that it reached just 0.4 percent.

Overall public debt fell to 317.1 billion euros in 2014 from 319.17 billion in 2013.

However, it rose as a proportion of output to 177.1 percent in 2014 from 175 percent in 2013.

Photo: Global Panorama via Flickr

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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