Days before the last employment figures were released last week. Eurostat published eurozone data concerning the eurozone’s public deficit, which decreased by an average 2.9% in 2013 to 2.4% in 2014 in relation to GDP, whereas for the 28 member countries of the Union it stood at 2.9% last year.
Spain met its commitment with the European Commission, yet its public deficit stood at 5.8%, only surpassed by Cyprus (8.8%), while decadent Greece managed to have its public deficit 2.3 points below Spain to 3.5%. Madrid aims to reduce its deficit by 2015 down to 4.2% of GDP.
For those who think that public surplus is a chimera, the examples of Denmark (+ 1.2%), Germany (+ 0.7%) and Estonia and Luxembourg (+ 0.6%), are the proof. On the opposite side, Croatia and United Kingdom (5.7%), Slovenia (4.9%), Portugal (4.5%), Ireland (4.1%), France (4.0%), show that the crisis has taken its toll.
Talking about deficit means talking debt, which went up for the whole of the eurozone to reach 91.9% at the end of 2014, well above the 60% required by the Stability pact.
Besides, public debt in the EMU increased from 90.9% of GDP at the end of 2013 to 91.9% at the end of 2014, while in the EU-28 it rose from 85.5% to 86.8%. States with more debt at the end of 2014 were Greece (177.1%), Italy (132.1%), Portugal (130.2%), Ireland (109.7%), Cyprus (107.5%) and Belgium (106.5%). Spain’s debt continued to rise, reaching 97.70% of GDP with a 5.60 points increase in 2014 compared to 2013, when debt was 92.10% of GDP.
Another aspect closely linked to the previous two is public spending, which was equivalent to 49% of the GDP in the eurozone.
After reducing it by 0.78% in 2014, Spain spent 43.6% of GDP, even though public revenue only stood at 37.8% –eurozone’s stood at 46.6% of GDP.