Sunday, December 18, 2005

France's debt out of control

France's welfare state is cracking up:
France's public debt is spiralling out of control, according to a report commissioned by the French government from the chairman of BNP Paribas bank.

Michel P├ębereau's report shows that the debt stands at €1,117 billion, representing 66 per cent of France's GDP or €18,000 per citizen.

The staggering figure encompasses the debt accumulated by the state and local authorities, as well as social and health insurance bodies, over the past few decades.

However, it does not include the upcoming time bomb of civil servants' pensions. Depending on who you agree with, this could add between €450 billion and €900 billion to the country's arrears.