26 Apr 2015

Per Capita Interest Payments on European Public Sector Debt - around €700 in 2014, €13 000 over 20 years

Yesterday, my two posts looked at the latest set of figures from Eurostat on Public Sector Debt and Interest Payments across the European Union. The headline figures were that European Public Sector Debt at the end of 2014 had reached a staggering €12 trillion, and that the total interest payments over the last 20 years (i.e. the years for which Eurostat provides tables) exceed €6.66 trillion - i.e. over 55% of all public sector debt.

It was also clear from the data that the amount that taxpayers have been forking out to pay those interest payments varies a lot from country to country.

So, I thought it would be "amusing" to calculate the Per Capita interest payments for each country separately, using the population sizes of each country. The following table shows the results, with numbers for the per capita payments for both 2014, and also for the total period for which data is available - usually 1995-2014. I've ranked the Euro values by the 2014 payments, and also provided numbers in national currencies for countries that don't use Euros at the bottom.
And the winners for 2014 are ..... the Irish! Every man, woman and child in Ireland paid the equivalent of €1 629 to the Banking Sector in interest payments on their public sector debt. They are closely followed by the Italians (€1 237 each), the Belgians (€1 104), and the Brits (€947, or £764 if you want the number in pounds sterling). Even the crisis striken Greeks were able to contribute €641 each.

If we take the total interest payments in 2014 (over €356 billion) and divide by the total population (512 million) you get the figure of €696 per man, woman and child - let's call that a round €700.

If instead of just looking at 2014, we add up the numbers for the full 20 period to get the full €6.66 trillion, we discover that every man, woman and child has effectively paid over €13 000 each to the banking sector.

Of course, there again there are big variations between countries. Interestingly, the most generous nation have been the Belgians, who have each coughed up €26 208 over the 20 year period, followed very closely by the Italians who managed to hand over  €26 120 of their hard earned cash.

None of the next nations on the list could manage more than €20 000 each, but nevertheless the Danes contributed €19 573 each, followed by the Austrians (€18 575), the Germans (€15 911) and the Dutch (€15 555).

The Brits only contributed €13 574 each (over £10 000 in sterling), but the real mizers are nations like Luxembourg who only managed to pay just over €4000 over the 20 year period. And there are even countries like Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia who only forked out just over €1400 over the full 20 year period. But I suppose you have to take into account that wages are a lot lower in those countries.

People of Europe! Wake up! These interest payments on your governments debt that we have all been paying are nothing other than a well-oiled racket that allows the financial sector to siphon off trillions of euros in unjustifiable interest payments. Remember that the banks who lend your governments the money don't even have the money they lend - they just invent it out of thin air and sit back and claim the interest.  It means that we are all essentially working for the financial sector who only get away with the scam because nobody seems to see why this is all wrong.

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