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Bank Bailout Pushes Deficit to 14.7% in 2013

Ljubljana, 31 March (STA) - The general government deficit in the entire 2013 has been estimated at EUR 5.17bn or 14.7% of GDP, the Statistics Office (SURS) said on Monday. The figure includes the EUR 3.63bn recapitalisation of banks carried out last December.

The cost of the bail-out of Slovenian banks excluded, the general government deficit for 2013 stands at EUR 1.54bn or 4.4% of GDP, according to the statisticians.

The 2013 deficit takes into account payments of pay rises for public servants for the period between October 2010 and December 2013, which amounted to EUR 104m or 0.3% of GDP.

Moreover, the figure also includes payments of compensation to the people who were erased from the permanent residence registry in 1992 in the total amount of EUR 126m or 0.4% GDP.

All these costs excluded, the general government deficit last year amounted to EUR 1.31bn or 3.7% GDP, according to SURS.

Primary deficit in 2013 has been estimated at EUR 629m or 1.8% of GDP, which is 0.1 of a percentage point more than in the year before.

Total expenditure on interest in 2013 stood at EUR 917m (2.6% of GDP), which is 21% more than in 2012 in nominal terms.

Total revenues from taxes and social security contributions meanwhile amounted to EUR 13.3bn or 37.7% of GDP, which is 0.2% more than in 2012 in nominal terms. Tax revenues were up by 1.6%, while social security contributions were down by 1.9%.

The consolidated gross sovereign debt in 2013 amounted to EUR 25.3bn or 71.7% of GDP, up by more than EUR 6bn compared to the year before.

According to SURS, the general government deficit is expected to decrease to EUR 1.48bn or 4.2% of GDP this year, while sovereign debt is to increase to almost 81% of GDP.

The projection takes into account the planned recapitalisation of banks Abanka and Banka Celje in the total amount of EUR 321m.

Excluding this, this year's deficit would stand at 3.2% of GDP, slightly above the Maastricht criteria, Andrej Flajs of SURS told the press.

The expected sovereign debt meanwhile takes into account non-performing loans transferred to the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC), the bad bank.

The Statistics Office also published revised data for 2012, saying that the general government deficit last year stood at EUR 1.35bn or 3.8% of GDP, excluding bank bailout costs of EUR 61m or 0.2% of GDP.

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