Spain posts budget deficit

Madrid, March 28 (IANS/EFE) Spain posted a budget deficit of 6.98 percent of the gross domestic product last year and not the 6.74 percent initially reported by the government, based on new Eurostat accounting standards for tax refunds, Secretary of State for the Budget Marta Fernandez Curras said.

The government must now account for tax refund filings by taxpayers, Fernandez Curras said.
Eurostat wants the accounting change applied to the national accounts series going back to 1995, the official said.
Adjusting Spain’s national accounts for so many years will be an “enormous” job and only the figures for the past year have been modified, Fernandez Curras said.
The government announced Feb 28 that the deficit totaled 70.82 billion euros (about $93 billion), or 6.74 percent of GDP, in 2012.
The figure was four-tenths of a percentage point above the 6.3 percent GDP target agreed to with the European Union.
Spain has been battered by an economic meltdown that sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 26 percent.