Greek debt at 160.5% of GDP in 2013 Q1 after biggest y-o-y rise in EU

Greece’s public debt stood at 305.3 billion euros, or 160.5 percent of GDP, in the first quarter of this year after posting the highest rise in the European Union over the preceding 12 months, according to figures released by Eurostat on Monday.

This represented a slight rise from the fourth quarter of 2012, when the general government debt was at 303.9 billion euros, or 156.9 percent of GDP.

In the first quarter of last year, the amount reached 280.4 billion euros, or 136.5 percent of GDP, meaning Greece’s debt grew 24.1 percentage points over a year. This was the largest rise in the EU, which saw the debt of 24 out of 27 member states increased over the 12-month period.

As a proportion of national output, Greece’s debt remains the highest in the Unio . It is followed by Italy, which saw its debt reach 2.03 trillion euros, or 130.3 percent of GDP.

Portugal (127.2 percent) and Ireland (125.1 percent) follow Italy. Estonia has the least debt as it reaches just 10 percent of its economic output.

At the end of the first quarter of 2013, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area stood at 92.2 percent, compared with 90.6 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. In the EU, the ratio increased from 85.2 percent to 85.9 percent.

Compared with the first quarter of 2012, the government debt to GDP ratio rose in both the euro area - from 88.2 percent to 92.2 percent - and the EU, from 83.3 percent to 85.9 percent.