Posted by hkarner - 14. November 2015
Daniel A. Dias, Mark L. J. Wright 13 November 2015, voxeu
Measured as a percentage of its GDP, Greece’s debt is higher than that of Portugal and Ireland. This column discusses a range of new techniques for measuring the debts of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. It argues that plausible alternative measures of indebtedness suggest that Greece is anywhere from as much as 50% more indebted than Portugal and Ireland to as little as half as indebted. The most reasonable measures imply that Greece is far less indebted than is commonly reported.
According to Eurostat, the Greek government owed €317 billion in debt at the end of 2014. This is equivalent to more than 177% of its GDP, 387% of its tax revenue, and amounts to almost €30,000 per person. This seems like a very large sum. For comparison with other highly indebted European countries that received financial assistance, the Portuguese government’s debt amounted to 130% of GDP, while the Irish debt amounted to 110% of GDP.
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