Richard North, 29/11/2004  

This Wednesday the EU Commission will begin former infringement proceedings against the Greek government. Well, to be quite precise, it will send a formal letter (delivered by the god Hermes, perchance?) to the Greek government, castigating it for presenting incorrect statistics in several annual budgets.

The Greek government will then have two months to reply but one can guess that part of the response will be: wasn’t us, guv, it was the other lot, the nasty socialist one. Which, of course, it was.

The previous Greek government, as we have mentioned before, had a curious way with the budget, forgetting to add certain items such as defence procurement. And, of course, there was that rather large item, the Olympic Games, that have now been billed as the most expensive ever. Not very helpful when you are told that you must keep within the designated deficit rule, 3 per cent of GDP.

At the moment the Greek government is promising to scrape back the deficit from the present 5.3 per cent to 2.8 per cent in the next year without, one assumes, any more EU hand-outs in the shape of various structural funds. And the porcine air force will take to the skies.

However, it does not matter what happens. Nobody has ever ended up in court because of breaking through the permitted deficit barrier or for lying about statistics in order to end up in the euro. As long as France and Germany roam free with ever higher deficits, it is unlikely that little Greece will be punished. Of course, we could give them the Olympic Games for ever and ever. That’ll learn ‘em.

This posting appeared first on the UKIP London Assembly blog.

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