29 Apr 2017

Italy : €1.72 trillion in interest paid on Public Sector Debt since1995

I'm continuing my analysis of the latest Eurostat Figures on European Union Public Sector Debt and Interest payments since 1995. Following France and the UK, I now turn the spotlight on Italy. All the figures I used to do the analysis can be found in a Google Sheet document that you can find here.

First, take a look at the graph of how Public sector debt has increased from just over €1 trillion in 1995 to over €2.2 trillion in 2016.

Next, lets look at the details.

First, over the period 1995-2016, debt levels increased by €1,147,338 million, an average of €54,635 million per year.

The amount paid by Italian taxpayers as interest on that debt was particularly impressive, totally no less that €1,720,306 million. The amount has varied substantially from year to year, peaking at an eye-watering €114,239 million in 1996. It's been dropping slightly over the last five years, but was still no less than €66,272 million last year. Over the whole period, taxpayers have been paying an average of over €78 billion every year - that's 5.8% of Italian GDP.

When you compare that figure with the value of 23.7% of GDP corresponding to taxes in Italy provided by the World Bank, this means that roughly one quarter of all Italian taxes gets used to pay the interest on Public sector debt.

OK, the interest rates have been dropping somewhat, and are now quite a bit lower that the 9.32% effective interest that Italians were paying in 1995. Indeed, the effective interest rate dropped below 3% for the first time in 2016. But that doesn't make this situation any less ridiculous.

Why on earth are Italians forced to pay 25% of all their taxes to a Financial System that creates money out of thin air to purchase Italian Government bonds and then sits back and rakes in the interest charge. The €1.72 trillion that Italians have paid is, in my humble opinion, a total racket. I would suggest that someone in Italy should press to (a) end this insane system, and (b) ask for the €1.72 trillion back- please.

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