21 Apr 2016

European Public Sector Interest Payments in 2015 - over €335 billion. €7.18 trillion since 1995.

The other fascinating data set released by Eurostat this morning concerns the amounts of money paid by European Governments in Interest payments on Public Sector debt.

I've compiled the numbers in the following table.

Together, the goverments of the European Union handed over €335 billion of taxpayers money in interest payments in 2015. For the Eurozone countries, the total was well over €250 billion.

The Eurostat data set provides information for interest payments since 1995, so that I have been able to calculte the total amount of interest paid by most countries in that 21 year period. By comparing that total with the level of Debt, you can work out what percentage of the debt is simply due to payments of interest charges. For three countries, shown in red, the  figures don't go all the way back to 1995.

Overall, for the Eurozone, 60.5% of all Public sector debt has been used to pay interest charges. The percentage varies quite a bit between countries, from a minimum of 21.9% for Luxembourg to 76.7% for Italy. In France, where I live, 46.5% of the total debt of nearly €2.1 trillion is simply the result of interest payments. And over €44 billion of French taxpayers money went to pay the interest in 2015.

Outside the Eurozone, one country can proudly say that it has paid out 106.5% of its national debt in interest charges - well done Denmark.

And the big number is the amount that collectively, European Governments have paid in interest since 1995. The total has now reached €7.185 trillion - and this amounts to 57.6% of all government debt.

Now, readers of my blog will hopefully be aware of the fact that all these interest payments are stupid. The banks that lend our governments money don't even have the money they lend. As admitted by the Bank of England commercial banks can just invent money to lend out of thin air. That system is absurd. But when the money creation system is used to rip off  trillions of taxpayers money, I think that it cannot be thought of as anything other than a criminal racket that has allowed the richest people on the planet to exploit every one of us.

Does anyone reading this blog not believe that our governments could do something more intelligent with €335 billion?

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