Greece records highest government debt to GDP ratio at more than 200%

Greece recorded the highest ratio of government debt to GDP in the EU at the end of the first quarter of 2021 at 209.3% according to the latest figures published by Eurostat.

According to the data, Greece recorded the highest followed by Italy (160.0%), Portugal (137.2%), Cyprus (125.7%), Spain (125.2%), Belgium (118.6%) and France (118.0%), with lowest recorded in Estonia (18.5%), Bulgaria (25.1%) and Luxembourg (28.1%).

Greece records highest government debt to GDP ratio at more than 200% 1

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, still largely impacted by policy measures to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and recovery measures, which continued to materialise in increased financing needs, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area exceeded 100% for the first time – the ratio stood at 100.5%, compared with 97.8% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. In the EU, the ratio increased from 90.5% to 92.9%.

Compared with the first quarter of 2020, the government debt to GDP ratio rose in both the euro area (from 86.1% to 100.5%) and the EU (from 79.2% to 92.9%).

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, debt securities accounted for 82.6% of euro area and for 82.2% of EU general government debt. Loans made up 14.2% and 14.7% respectively and currency and deposits represented 3.2% of euro area and 3.1% of EU government debt.

Due to the involvement of EU Member States’ governments in financial assistance to certain Member States, quarterly data on intergovernmental lending (IGL) are also published. The share of IGL as percentage of GDP at the end of the first quarter of 2021 accounted for 2.0% in the euro area and to 1.7% in the EU.

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