Deficit figures show 4.4% for 2015, with Banif responsible for 1.4%

The damage to Portugal’s ‘excessive deficit’ caused by the Banif Bank debacle has been estimated as 1.4% – taking last year’s total well over the 3% forecast, to a damning 4.4%.

Date just released by INE, the Portuguese statistics institute, reveals that the controversial Banif ‘resolution’ that has seen a case lodged against the Bank of Portugal for “incalculable damages” (clcik here) hammered Portugal’s deficit to the tune of €2.463 billion, the “equivalent of 1.4% of GDP” writes Público.

This is even more than the 1.2% that the country’s budget watchdog (UTAO) had forecast.

More than likely to pour oil on the troubled waters of concern in Brussels over Portugal’s 2016 State Budget, INE’s report is not being officially forwarded to the European Commission until next week, writes the paper, as INE still maintains it doesn’t have all the information that it needs.

The delay is ‘crucial’. National media has already suggested that President Marcelo is expected to rubber-stamp the Socialist government’s budget as soon as he returns to Belém from the Easter holidays. Thus critics claim the government is behind it.

Finance minister Mário Centeno has refuted the claims, saying he “sent INE all the information” it needed “in good time”.

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