Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said this was a result of a technical reclassification associated with government support provided to the banking sector.
“It is important to note that the underlying 2009 general government deficit for Ireland is 11.8 percent of GDP, which is broadly similar to that projected in December’s budget,” he said.
“There is no additional borrowing associated with this technical reclassification. This is a once-off impact, and will not affect the government’s stated budgetary aim of reducing the deficit to below 3 percent of GDP by 2014,” Lenihan said.
Though the Eurostat document does not state this, the revision appears to be related to reclassifying the €4 billion used to recapitalise Anglo Irish Bank as part of the deficit (at this point, I can’t resist an I told you so moment.) If this is indeed the case, I’m not sure that the once-off impact comment is correct since there’s more money going in this year. Hopefully it is indeed the case that we’re not still pouring money into Anglo in 2014.
Oh, they also revised the Greek deficit upwards and said mean things about Greek budget statistics. So nothing new there.