SPAIN’S public debt soared to a whopping €1 trillion.
According to data recently released by Banco de España, the Spanish public debt rocketed to just over €1 trillion or 98.4 per cent of GDP. The Government estimates that the debt levels could increase before the end of the year to as much as 99.5 per cent of GDP.
Spain’s debt has actually tripled since the outbreak of the economic crisis from 36.3 per cent of GDP in 2007 to almost 100 per cent in 2014. Most of the debt was incurred by the Central Government (84.5 per cent of Spain’s gross domestic product), followed by the Autonomous Communities (21.7 per cent of GDP) and the local councils (4 per cent).
Economy Minister Lluis de Guindos blamed the increasing debt levels on accumulated budget deficits, specific measures including payments to suppliers, the Fund for the Liquidity of Autonomous Communities (FLA) – which allows Spanish regions to pay off their debts – and on a government programme offering financial assistance to Spanish banks.
These levels are some of the highest seen in modern times, but historically Spain’s public debt exceeded 100 per cent of GDP between 1900 and 1909 and reached a record high in 1881 (149 per cent).