Greece’s public debt exceeds €357 billion – EURACTIV.com

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Greece’s public debt has increased significantly compared to last year and amid a global price crisis and high inflation, bringing the level of total debt to 193% of GDP, raising concerns that the country could heading for a financial crash.

In Greece, inflation for June was 11.6%, compared to 10.5% recorded in May 2022, one of the highest rates in the euro zone. At the same time, according to data from the Greek statistical service (ELSTAT), public debt increased by 13.417 billion euros between the first quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2022.

At the same time, general government revenue amounted to 18.982 billion euros against 16.340 billion euros last year. Income and property taxes amounted to 2.947 billion euros compared to 2.743 billion euros in the first quarter of 2021.

Social contributions amounted to 6.558 billion euros (34.5% of total revenue) against 6.066 billion euros (37.1% of total revenue) last year.

But that probably won’t be enough to close the gap.

Stefan Legge, professor of economics at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, said the country, as well as Italy, which is in a similar situation, could be heading for trouble due to the high level of public debt.

“The fear is back that Italy or Greece or some other country won’t be able to afford higher levels of interest and could eventually go bankrupt,” Legge said.

In early July, Fitch Ratings gave Greece a positive BB outlook, but warned that the debt ratio by 2024 should still be among the highest rated and more than three times higher than other BB countries.

Soaring food, energy and fuel prices have sparked strong criticism of the government and rumors of a snap election in the fall. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, elected in 2019, said that would not happen as his priority remains to enact a series of reforms.

“I don’t watch opinion polls for a clearing to call an election. We have a government with a strong majority, and it is my duty to ensure the stability of the country,” he told Skai radio.

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