18 billion Lira deficit during Turkey referendum campaign: Ministry

The Ministry of Finance in Turkey has published its reports for the first four months of the year. The reports show a deficit of 17.9 billion Turkish Liras (approximately 5.1 billion USD) between January and April, the period coinciding with the referendum campaign, according to a report in the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.

The reports also show a significant rise in defence and security spendings from March to April. Defence and security spendings almost tripled to 1.28 billion Turkish Liras (approximately 293 million USD) in April, from 399.7 million Turkish Liras (approximately 114 million USD) in March.

“The rise in the budget deficit will go back to a moderate level with the end of certain temporary practices and the revival that we expect in the economy soon” said Finance Minister Naci Agbal, according to the report.

The government was criticised by opposition parties prior to the referendum for financing the ‘Yes’ campaign that gave sweeping powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 16 April.