Business Irish

Monday 23 April 2018

Ireland fourth in debt stakes as troika back in Greece

Maeve Dineen Business editor

IRELAND has the fourth highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the eurozone, according to figures published by Eurostat.

Ireland's government debt-to-GDP stood at 108.5pc for the first quarter of 2012 -- fourth place in the eurozone. This is up from 106.5pc in the previous quarter and from 100.3pc in Q1 2011, according to the figures.

Ireland's ratio is only behind that of Greece, which has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 132.4pc, Italy (123.3pc) and Portugal (111.7pc).

The countries with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios are Estonia (6.6pc), Bulgaria (16.7pc) and Luxembourg (20.9pc).

The figures are compiled by Eurostat based on submissions by the CSO.

Meanwhile, the 'troika' bailout team of the IMF, ECB and EU are to arrive in Athens today amid growing concerns about a Greek exit from the eurozone.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said Greece was in a "Great Depression" similar to the United States in the 1930s.

The IMF yesterday dismissed a report that it may stop supporting Greece as it prepares for talks, starting today, with the new Greek government on its international bailout.

The German weekly Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that Greece would need up to €50bn in additional aid beyond the €130bn already agreed, and that the IMF may refuse to contribute further funding.

"The IMF is supporting Greece in overcoming its economic difficulties," an IMF spokesperson said.

"An IMF mission will start discussions with the country's authorities on how to bring Greece's economic programme, back on track." (Additional reporting Reuters)

Irish Independent

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