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EU debt mountain grows to 90% of GDP

BRUSSELS -- European national debt levels have continued to rise way above EU limits, official data showed Wednesday, as the eurozone debt crisis undermines government revenues.

The EU statistics agency Eurostat said total accumulated national debt in the 17 eurozone nations increased to 90 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter, up from 88.2 percent in the first three months of the year.

In the full 27-member EU, debt rose to 84.9 percent from 83.5 percent.

The EU sets a 60-percent cap on total debt and 3 percent on annual public deficits but such limits have been under pressure for years in many states and the eurozone debt crisis has only made things worse.

The austerity policies adopted to cope with the crisis have cut government spending but in doing so they have also undercut growth sharply, with tax revenues falling in tandem.

Debt at levels approaching 100 percent are widely seen as unsustainable for the long term but some countries such as Japan have lived with them much higher than that for years.

1 Comment
October 25, 2012    freeman70@
Eventually, you have to pay back the money you borrowed. I pity mine and younger generations. They will have to suffer because of so much entitlement, corruption and mismanagement. With forced budget cuts we can look forward to limited health care, low paying jobs, and little or no chance to retire. Even if we can retire, we will receive limited pension benefits.

The only saving grace might be technology. If used wisely, judiciously and without an unbalanced focus only on business profitability, we might still build a better world in harmony with nature. We have the technology but don't have the proper sense of social communal responsibility.

Let us examine our lives and seriously decide, whether or not, we, as individuals, are net contributors to society or just parasites. Make no mistake. It starts here with this simple idea. We have grown up in a culture of abuse, whereby the abuse of others to get ahead is the status quo. How many times have we bragged about their ability to get ahead in life and business instead of our ability to help others help themselves? Profitability in a company is important but it is not the only thing. In some ways, austerity is good for people because with hardship, people become more grounded and they begin to realise their sense of community that was lost so long ago. By helping others, we help ourselves. Helping by means of a hand up not a hand out.
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