In its latest report, the EU statistical office Eurostat said that the Greek public debt decreased by 1% compared to the 4th quarter of 2013, but it was up 13.5% compared to the 1st quarter of 2013.
Eurostat reported that from the total 174.1% of GDP, 131.3% were loans and 42.4% were other securities. In absolute numbers, the Greek debt decreased to 314.8 billion euros, from 318.7 billion euros in the 4th quarter of 2013.
According to Eurostat, Greece had the highest public debt among EU countries, followed by Italy (135.6%) and Portugal (132.9%), while Estonia (10%), Bulgaria (20.3%) and Luxembourg (22.8%) had the lowest.
At the end of the first quarter of 2014, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area stood at 93.9%, compared with 92.7% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013. This increase comes after two consecutive quarters of decrease. In the EU 28, the ratio increased from 87.2% to 88.0%. Compared to the first quarter of 2013, the government debt to GDP ratio increased in both the euro area (from 92.5% to 93.9%) and the EU28 (from 86.2% to 88.0%).
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, nineteen member states registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2014, six a decrease and Estonia no change. The highest increases were recorded in Slovenia (+7.0 percentage points – pp), Hungary (+5.0 pp), Belgium and Portugal (both +3.9 pp). The highest decreases were recorded in Poland (-7.6 pp), Germany (-1.1pp) and Greece (-1.0 pp).
Compared to the first quarter of 2013, sixteen member states registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2014, and ten a decrease. The highest increases were recorded in Cyprus (+24.6 pp), Slovenia (+23.9 pp), Greece (+13.5 pp) and Croatia (+9.9 pp), while the largest decreases were recorded in Poland (-7.7 pp), Germany (-3.2 pp), the Czech Republic (2.2 pp), Latvia (-1.4 pp) and Belgium (-0.9 pp).
Eurozone’s public debt increased to 93.9% in the 1st quarter of 2014 from 92.7% in the previous quarter, while in the EU it increased to 88% from 87.2%. It rose sharply earlier this year, reversing a downtrend when the economic crisis eased.