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    Belgium has one of EU’s highest debt rates

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Belgium had one of the European Union’s highest debt-to-GDP rates in 2017 – 103.1% -, according to figures from the European Statistical Office, Eurostat, published on Monday. Only three countries had higher rates, Greece (178.6%), Italy (131.8%) and Portugal (125.7%), while Estonia (9%), Luxembourg (23%) and Bulgaria (25.4%) had the lowest rates.

    Globally, the debt-to-GDP rate in the eurozone went down from an average of 89% at the end of 2016 to 86.7% at the end of 2017. In the European Union (EU) as a whole, it went from 83.3% to 81.6% in the same period.

    Public deficit as a percentage of GDP also decreased in the eurozone, sliding from 1.5% in 2016 to 0.9% in 2017. In the 28 EU countries, it went from 1.6% in 2016 to 1.0% last year, with surpluses in Malta (+3.9%), Cyprus (+1.8%) and the Czech Republic (+1.6%), while Slovenia ended the year with a balanced budget.

    These results were based on data reported by EU Member States during the first 2018 notification for the years 2014-2017 for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP).

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times