Remember the Fiscal Compact? Yes, the one where debt/GDP ratio should be at 60% and the countries with ratios in excess of 60% must take 1/20th of the excess in adjustment down in debt per annum? So a country with 130% debt/GDP ratio is committed to an annual reduction of (130-60)/20=3.5% of GDP in year 1 and so on...
Oh, yes, the Fiscal Compact underpins the macroeconomic stability in the Euro area, making the euro as a currency 'sustainable'…
Oh yes, and the latest figures from the Eurostat on Government debt show that…
- 18 out of EU28 countries have seen increases in Government debt/GDP ratios in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013.
- 9 countries have posted increases in excess of 5% of GDP.
- Year on year: the highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Cyprus (+24.6 pp), Slovenia (+23.9 pp), Greece (+13.5 pp) and Croatia (+9.9 pp), while the largest decreases were recorded in Poland (-7.7 pp), Germany (-3.2 pp), the Czech Republic (-2.2 pp), Latvia (-1.4 pp) and Belgium (-0.9 pp).
- 15 EU28 countries had Government debt/GDP ratio in excess of 60%
- EA18 Government debt in Q1 2013 stood at EUR8.793 trillion or 92.5% of GDP. In Q1 2014 this was EUR9.056 trillion or 93.9% of GDP. That is excluding intergovernmental debt. Adding this, Q1 2013 debt/GDP ratio was 94.6% and this rose to 96.3% in Q1 2014.
Good to see the Fiscal Compact holding so much better than the Maastricht Criteria.
So in the Age of European Austerity, savage cuts to public spending are resulting in rising debt at a rate of 1.7 percentage points of GDP per annum. One might wonder, were it not for the savage Austerity, where the debt levels might have been?
Full Eurostat release here: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-22072014-AP/EN/2-22072014-AP-EN.PDF