Der Mythos vom griechischen Haushalt

CAMBRIDGE – Unlängst hat es die Meldung in die Schlagzeilen geschafft, dass Griechenland im Gesamtjahr 2013 einen ausgeglichen Haushalt haben würde. Eine geradezu schockierende Nachricht: Als die griechischen Behörden im Jahr 2010 Farbe bekannten über den wahren Zustand der öffentlichen Finanzen ihres Landes, hat das Haushaltsdefizit über 10% des BIP betragen – ein Moment der statistischen Aufrichtigkeit, der die Schuldenkrise in der EU auslöste. Es schien zu schön, um wahr zu sein, dass das griechische Defizit in nur drei Jahren vollständig abgebaut worden sein sollte.

Es ist tatsächlich zu schön, um wahr zu sein. Jeder Zeitungsleser, der sich über die Schlagzeilen hinaus informiert hat, hat schnell gemerkt, dass die Prognose eines Nulldefizits in Wirklichkeit irreführend war. Der Internationale Währungsfonds hat lediglich prognostiziert, dass Griechenland 2013 ein „primäres“ Nulldefizit erreichen würde.

Ein „primäres“ Haushaltsdefizit (oder Überschuss) ist die Differenz zwischen allen Ausgaben eines Staates außer den Zinsen für den Schuldendienst und seinen Einnahmen aus Steuern und anderen Abgaben. Im Falle Griechenlands die Zinszahlungen für die Verschuldung öffentlicher Haushalte bei griechischen Einzelpersonen und Institutionen, sowie für staatliche Schuldtitel, die vom IWF, der Europäischen Zentralbank und anderen ausländischen Kreditgebern gehalten werden.

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