Who Said Greece Has the Highest Govt Debt?

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - 1. Ja­pan 2. Greece 3. Le­banon 5. Italy 4. Ja­maica 6. Por­tu­gal 7. Ire­land 8. Cyprus 9. Bhutan 12. Bel­gium 14. Spain 15. France 16. Bar­ba­dos 17. Ice­land

All eyes are back on Greece in April as the coun­try tries to un­lock more funds from in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors to help mend its bat­tered econ­omy. De­spite rack­ing up huge amounts of gov­ern­ment debt, Greece is not the most in­debted coun­try. The World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Sur­vey looks at the fi­nan­cial health of coun­tries around the world. By look­ing at the level of gross gov­ern­ment debt as a per­cent­age of GDP, it can in­di­cate how able a coun­try is to pay back debts with­out in­cur­ring fur­ther debt. Ba­si­cally the lower the debtto-GDP ra­tio the bet­ter, re­ports


– 132.5%

– 128.8%

Its econ­omy is grow­ing slowly and now the cen­tral bank has im­ple­mented neg­a­tive in­ter­est rates.

The coun­try has taken over €320 bil­lion worth of bailout cash and it’s look­ing im­pos­si­ble to pay it all back – es­pe­cially since it has had to im­ple­ment painful aus­ter­ity mea­sures to get its loans.

The coun­try used to be a tourist des­tina- tion but war against Syria and do­mes­tic po- lit­i­cal tur­moil has led to a lack of an of­fi­cial bud­get for months. The ser­vices in­dus­try ac­counts for 80% of GDP but high crime, cor­rup­tion, and un­em­ploy­ment drag the coun­try’s growth down. The In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund said Ja­maica has to re­form its tax sys­tem.

The coun­try’s pro­por­tion of debt to GDP is the sec­ond highest in Eu­ro­zone. It spiked this year be­cause the Trea­sury in­creased its avail­able liq­uid­ity. Por­tu­gal ex­ited its own bailout pro­gramme in mid-2014. How­ever, GDP was 7.8% lower than it was at the end of 2007.

The coun­try ex­ited its bailout pro­gramme two years’ ago but faces a huge debt pile. Ire­land has al­ready had suc­cess in re­fi­nanc­ing a large amount of bank­ing-re­lated debt.

The coun­try’s ex­ces­sive ex­po­sure to Greece hit it hard dur­ing the Euro­pean sovereign debt cri­sis in 2010. Like Greece, it had to be bailed out by in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors and en­force cap­i­tal con­trols and aus­ter­ity mea­sures to get fund­ing.

The small Asian econ­omy is closely linked to In­dia and de­pends heav­ily on it for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance and for­eign labour­ers for in­fra­struc­ture. Al­though the gov­ern­ment man­aged to re­duce the bud­get deficit from a peak of 6% of GDP in 2009 to 3.2% — its debt is still in­cred­i­bly high.

– 122.8%

– 95.0%

The is­land na­tion is a ser­vice­ori­en­tated econ­omy and suf­fers from poor nat­u­ral re­source base. This means it has to im­port 82% of its food, lead­ing to vul­ner­a­bil­ity to mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions.

– 93.9%

S&P is con­fi­dent Spain’s buoy­ant growth prospects and labour mar­ket re­forms will boost its outlook. In the sec­ond quar­ter, Spain’s econ­omy grew 3.1% year-on-year.

– 93.9%

The econ­omy has been re­cov­er­ing “in fits and starts,” says the coun­try’s sta­tis­ti­cal agency. But this month PMI ser­vices came in bet­ter than ex­pected.

– 92.0%

The tax haven na­tion is the wealth­i­est and most de­vel­oped coun­try in the East­ern Caribbean but its growth prospects look weak due to aus­ter­ity mea­sures to com­bat the ef­fects of the credit cri­sis eight years ago.

Prior to the credit cri­sis in 2007, gov­ern­ment debt was a mod­est 27% of GDP. Eight years on and the coun­try is still deal­ing with the col­lapse of the bank­ing sys­tem.

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