National debt risks increasing by €2 billion

Friday, 14 September 2018 13:41
Eurostat is pondering why Infrabel’s debt of several billion euro is not included as part of the national debt. Eurostat is pondering why Infrabel’s debt of several billion euro is not included as part of the national debt. © Belga
L'Echo and De Tijd are reporting on Friday that the Belgian national debt may inflate by an additional €2 billion.
The increase will occur if Eurostat, the European Office for Statistics, imposes the inclusion of the Infrabel debts.

Eurostat, the European Office for Statistics, is wondering why Infrabel’s debt of several billion euro is not included as part of the national debt.

During their biennial visit, shortly before the summer, Eurostat representatives asked questions about this, according to one of Belga’s sources. A federal government source confirms, “There is a real risk of having to include Infrabel’s debt as part of the national debt.” The consequence of this would be to increase the overall debt by more than €2 billion, equating to 0.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The decision is expected during the coming weeks. Within the federal government, they are already becoming used to the idea of bad news. Charles Michel’s team still hopes to reduce the debt ratio within this government’s term to below the level of 100% of GDP.

Belgium’s current debt equates to more than €450 billion, or 106.3% of GDP.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times
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