More than 4 billion in five years: the debt of the French Community just keeps growing
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    More than 4 billion in five years: the debt of the French Community just keeps growing

    The French Community invested a lot in education, but went increasingly into deficit and its debt has reached unprecedented levels, so much so that UNamur has sounded the alarm bells. Credit: © Belga

    The French-speaking community’s debt has exploded, rising from 3 billion euros in 1999 to 8 billion in 2019, and it could well reach nearly 12 billion in five years’ time, according to figures released by UNamur’s centre for research in regional and political economic policies and published in Le Soir on Tuesday.

    The French Community invested a lot in education but went increasingly into deficit and its debt has reached unprecedented levels, so much so that UNamur has sounded alarm bells.

    The projected shortfall of 192 million euros in 2019, could well reach 614 million in 2020, 674 million in 2021, 728 million in 2022, 780 million in 2023 and 855 million in 2024, it assessed.

    “An unaltered decision and on the basis of current parameters, our perspectives bring to light a significant deterioration in the overall balance – ‘a SEC balance-of-payments’ (NDLR: the deficit) – and an explosion of the French community’s debt that incidentally does not stop growing as a share of the GDP. The situation is all the more delicate because the French Community, not having any revenue-raising capacity, has very little power over changes in its income,” researcher Elodie Lecuivre stated.

    André Flahaut, the outgoing minister responsible for the French community’s budget,  strove to be reassuring in Le Soir: “We have recently had the status of our debt analysed. To be honest, the findings are favourable, reassuring. The situation is under control. We think that it’s going to get better from year to year.”

    The Brussels Times