Bulgaria is among the three European Union countries with the lowest ratio of government debt to GDP, according to Eurostat figures released on February 6 2012, covering the third quarter of 2011.
The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the third quarter of 2011 were recorded in Greece (159.1 per cent), Italy (119.6 per cent), Portugal (110.1 per cent) and Ireland (104.9 per cent), and the lowest in Estonia (6.1 per cent), Bulgaria (15 per cent) and Luxembourg (18.5 per cent).
At the end of the third quarter of 2011, Eurostat said, the government debt to GDP ratio in the 17-member euro zone was 87.4 per cent, down compared with 87.7 per cent at the end of the second quarter of 2011.
Across the 27 member states of the EU, the ratio increased from 81.7 per cent to 82.2 per cent. Compared with the third quarter of 2010, the government debt to GDP ratio rose in both the euro area (from 83.2 per cent to 87.4 per cent) and the EU27 (from 78.5 per cent to 82.2 per cent).
At the end of the third quarter of 2011, securities other than shares accounted for 79.3 per cent of euro area and 79.7 per cent of EU27 general government debt. Loans made up 18per cent of euro area and 15.8 per cent of EU27 government debt. Currency and deposits represented 2.8 per cent of euro area and 3.8 per cent of EU27 government debt.
Compared with the second quarter of 2011, 14 EU countries registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2011, and 13 a decrease.
The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Hungary (+4.8 percentage points - pp), Greece (+4.4 pp) and Portugal (+3.6 pp), and the largest decreases in Italy and Malta (both -1.6 pp) and Romania (-1.0 pp). It should be noted that the change in debt ratio between two successive quarters can be influenced by seasonal patterns, Eurostat said.
Compared with the third quarter of 2010, 20 EU member states registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2011, and seven a decrease. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Greece (+20.3 pp), Portugal (+18.9 pp) and Ireland (+16.5 pp), and the largest decreases in Sweden (-1.6 pp), Luxembourg (-1.4 pp) and Bulgaria (-0.9 pp).
Killing spree in Norway in July 2011 and the arrests of individuals in a number of EU member states for the preparation of terrorist attacks, are proof of the continuing need for vigilance, Europol says.
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