Greece's budget deficit drops 10.6% in first quarter

Greece's budget deficit dropped by 10.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2010, meaning a lower borrowing need, the Bank of Greece said on Friday.

The budget deficit of the central government declined to 5.6 billion euros (7.58 billion U.S. dollars) from 6.3 billion euros (8.53 billion dollars) in the same period last year, said the bank.

Meanwhile, head of the Greek Public Debt Management Agency Petros Christodoulou said the government was examining the prospect of issuing bonds in dollars.

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou will visit the United States next week for a series of meetings with representatives of some of the world's biggest banks, and head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Debt-ridden Greece has already borrowed more than 25.5 billion euros (34.5 billion dollars) this year and needs to raise around 10 billion euros (13.6 billion dollars) in May and approximately 50 billion euros (67.7 billion dollars) by the end of the year to meet its financial needs.

[Source: Xinhua, Athens, 17abr10]

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