UPDATE 1-Greek budget gap widens, govt says meeting targets

* Q1 central govt deficit widens 7.8 pct yr/yr

* Deficit broadly in line with 2011 budgeted target

(Adds details)

ATHENS, April 11 (Reuters) – Greece’s central government
deficit widened 7.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to
to 4.71 billion euros ($6.8 billion) from 4.37 billion in the
same period a year earlier, the finance ministry said on Monday.

Budget slippage and reports that last year’s fiscal gap may
have overshot a previous projection, are piling pressure on the
government as it readies a medium-term plan to get the deficit
down to 2.6 percent of GDP by 2014.

The central government deficit in the first three months was
broadly in line with 2011 budget targets, the government said in
a statement.

The data refers to the state budget deficit which excludes
local authorities and social security spending and do not
coincide with the general government shortfall — the benchmark
for the EU’s assessment of Greece’s fiscal progress.

The ministry said the main reason the deficit target was
attained in the first quarter was the containment of spending as
budget revenue was 776 million euros below target.

Net ordinary budget revenue fell 8.1 percent year-on-year to
11.14 billion euros, mainly due to a deeper-than-projected
recession.

The ministry attributed the revenue shortfall to lower
proceeds from an extraordinary tax on profits of large companies
and reduced receipts from personal income tax witholdings.

Last week euro zone finance ministers warned Greece of the
importance of controlling spending as the overborrowed country’s
budget deficit likely exceeded 10 percent, topping an earlier
9.4 percent of GDP forecast. [ID:nLDE73716D] [ID:nN08222535]
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Patrick Graham)

UPDATE 1-Greek budget gap widens, govt says meeting targets