Spain last year scored the highest public deficit in the entire European Union (EU), an exercise marked by the coronavirus pandemic , placing it at 11% of its gross domestic product (GDP), while the debt reached the 120% of GDP, the fourth highest percentage of the community club.
According to Eurostat data, last year, the public deficit and debt of the euro area and the Twenty-seven grew “significantly” compared to 2019 due to the measures taken to respond to covid-19.
In the nineteen countries that share the single currency, the public deficit went from 0.6% in 2019 to 7.2% last year, while in the EU it rose from 0.5% to 6.9%. As regards public debt, in the euro area it went from 83.9% at the end of 2019 to 98% at the end of last year, while in the 27 it progressed from 77.5% to 90, 7%.
All the member states of the community club registered public deficits in 2020, led by Spain (11%), Malta (10.1%), Greece (9.7%), Italy (9.5%), Belgium (9.4 %), France and Romania (9.2% in both countries), Austria (8.9%), Slovenia (8.4%), Hungary (8.1%), Croatia and Lithuania (7.4%) and Poland (7%).
All Community partners, except Denmark (1.1%), had a public deficit of more than 3%, a figure beyond which the Stability and Growth Pact considers it excessive. In the case of Spain, the Government already announced on March 29 that the deficit of the public administrations as a whole stood in 2020 at 113,172 million euros, 10.09% of GDP, which multiplies the figure almost by four of 2019 (2.86% of GDP) and reaches the highest level since 2009 (11.06% of GDP).
The impact of the Company for the Management of Assets from Bank Restructuring (Sareb) raises the calculation of the public deficit, once financial aid has been included, to 10.97% of GDP. Regarding public debt, the lowest percentages at the end of last year were found in Estonia (18.2%), Luxembourg (24.9%), Bulgaria (25%), the Czech Republic (38.1%) and Sweden (39.9%).
A total of 14 member states recorded percentages of public debt above 60% of GDP, which the Stability and Growth Pact considers excessive. The highest figures corresponded to Greece (205.6%), Italy (155.8%), Portugal (133.6%), Spain (120%), Cyprus (118.2%), France (115.7%) and Belgium (114.1%).
According to data published by the Bank of Spain on March 31, the expenses derived from the covid-19 pandemic and the incorporation of Sareb into the public sector calculation triggered the debt of public administrations to a record of 1.35 trillion euros at the end of 2020, 120% of GDP. Spanish public debt increased by 156,750 million euros compared to 2019, 13.2%, which raised the total figure to 1,345,570 million, the highest in the historical series that begins in 1995.
In 2020, eurozone government spending was equivalent to 54.1% of GDP and revenues, 46.8%. Data for the EU were 53.4% and 46.5% respectively. Eurostat noted that in both areas the ratio of government spending grew “significantly”, while the percentage of revenue increased “only slightly”.