National debt in the member states of the European Union in the 1st quarter 2013 (in billion euros)

  National debt in billion euros
Hungary 23,339.51
Germany 2,150.5
Italy 2,034.76
France 1,870.29
Czech Republic 1,823.37
Sweden 1,409.75
United Kingdom 1,385.7
Spain 922.83
Poland 917.76
Denmark 817.6
Netherlands 431.36
Belgium 394.22
Greece 305.29
Austria 231.59
Romania 229.99
Portugal 208.28
Ireland 204.05
Finland 105.27
Lithuania 46.7
Slovakia 39.35
Slovenia 19.12
Cyprus 15.34
Bulgaria 14.11
Luxembourg 10.04
Latvia 6.15
Malta 5.17
Estonia 1.72
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This statistic shows the national debt in the member states of the European Union in the first quarter of 2013. The data refer to the entire state and are comprised of the debts of central government, provinces, municipalities, local authorities and social security. In the first quarter of 2013, Greece's national debt amounted to about 305.29 billion euros.

National debt in the EU member states

National or government debt is the debt owed by a central government. No country in the European Union is debt-free, although some are able to manage their debts better than others. Debt is influenced by the economic situation of a country, factors such as unemployment, the rate of inflation or the trade figures have a significant impact on its extent, and are, in turn, influenced by the national debt.

The economic crisis has hit some EU countries harder than others; Spain, Ireland and Greece especially have been struggling economically since 2008. Greece’s national debt has skyrocketed over the past few years, and the same can be said about Spain and Ireland. Other EU countries, like France and the United Kingdom have been affected as well, albeit not as severely.

The national debt of a country can be reduced by applying several measures: money can be borrowed (for example in the form of rescue packages), austerity programs can be enforced, taxes can be increased or central banks can inject liquidity into the economy through the implementation of quantitative easing policies. Some critics of the policy claim that this could lead to a higher level of inflation, which, if severe enough, could have a detrimental impact on living standards.

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