European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt
Despite years of attempted austerity and economic reforms, the European Union is still facing a crisis due to the debt that Greece has accumulated - which stood at 177.4 per cent of GDP in 2015. Although many are concerned about levels of debt in Greece, there are several other countries in the EU that have debts to rival the struggling nation, according to figures released by Eurostat. Altogether there are five European nations whose debts are larger than their economic output, and 21 that have debts larger than the 60 per cent-of-GDP limit set out in the Maastricht Treaty.
Greece’s public debt is, unsurprisingly, the highest in the EU - standing at 177 per cent of its GDP. Italy and Portugal are the next most indebted countries, with debts of 132 per cent and 129 per cent of national economic output respectively.
The smallest debts, as a proportion of GDP, were seen in Estonia, Luxembourg and Bulgaria in 2015. All of these governments have debts below 30 per cent of their GDP.
The United Kingdom’s debt currently accounts for 89.1 per cent of its GDP, eighth highest in the EU.
Debt levels across the eurozone were 90.4 per cent in 2015, falling from the monetary bloc’s level of 92 per cent in 2014. This was the highest level since the single currency was introduced in 1999.
Increases in debt across the continent show that countries are struggling to take control of their public expenditure, while the countries with the smallest total debt are often those that have seen the largest increases over recent years.
Nine European countries have managed to reduce their debt, as a proportion of GDP, since 2012. Just five - Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Latvia have managed to do so in real terms.
There are five EU countries that have debts standing at over €1trn: the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France and Spain.