Greece will borrow about 54 billion euros ($77 billion) next year to plug fiscal shortfalls and refinance debt, the country's deputy finance minister said on Thursday.
"Borrowing needs in 2010 will be lower than those in 2009 and will reach about 54 billion euros," Deputy Finance Minister Philippos Sachinidis told Imerisia financial newspaper in an interview.
His comments matched what Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told Reuters TV in an interview on Dec. 16.
Greece's credit standing has suffered three downgrades by rating agencies this month on concerns over its soaring budget deficit and worsening debt dynamics. The country borrowed more than 60 billion euros this year.
Fitch and Standard & Poor's cut Greece's rating to BBB+ and Moody's to A2 from A1.
Parliament passed next year's budget late on Wednesday, aiming to shrink the budget gap to 9.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from 12.7 percent this year and boost confidence in an economy that has become one of the euro zone's weakest links.
"In the first half we must cover about 40 percent of our 2010 borrowing needs," Sachinidis told the paper. "Maturities in the second quarter will be higher than those in the first quarter."
The minister said Greece was not planning to borrow in yen but would look into borrowing in U.S. dollars, seeking to lighten its debt servicing costs.
Greece's public debt is seen rising to 120.8 percent of GDP, or 294.9 billion euros, next year from 113.4 percent in 2009, based on budget projections, setting the country on course to become the euro zone's most indebted economy next year.
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