Estonia has topped the table with a rate of 3.4 per cent, followed by Luxembourg with 6.8 per cent and Latvia with 9.7 per cent. Romania has ranked 4th. On the other hand, the data from the Ministry of Economy and Finances (MEF) shows a public debt of 20.5 per cent of GDP, namely a value of approximately RON 80 bln.
The difference between the figure announced by MEF and the one announced by Eurostat is explained through the different calculation methodology, with the European statistic procedure ‘excluding the loans guaranteed by the Romanian state, something that always makes the figures in the European statistics lower than the ones in the internal statistics,’ Dorin Mantescu, head of the macroeconomic analysis office within MEF, stated, Nine o'Clock reports.
According to MEF, the governmental debt has risen by 24.2 per cent last year, compared to 2006. The internal debt has registered RON 41.079 bln, a share of 10.5 per cent of GDP, and the external debt has slightly surpassed EUR 9.5 bln, representing 8.8 per cent of GDP. The local debt has registered a level of RON 4.853 bln, representing 1.2 per cent of GDP. The internal local debt has registered RON 2.324 bln, representing 0.6 per cent of GDP, while the local external debt has registered EUR 700 M, representing 0.65 per cent of GDP.
The budget deficit has registered a level of 2.5 per cent of GDP last year, 0.3 per cent higher than its 2006 level and 1.3 per cent higher than its 2005 level. Thus, in 2007 Romania has ranked 6th among the EU countries with the largest deficits, according to Eurostat.
The highest budget deficits have been registered in Hungary (5.5 per cent of GDP), Great Britain (2.9 per cent of GDP), Greece (2.8 per cent of GDP), France (2.7 per cent of GDP) and Portugal (2.6 per cent of GDP).
By comparison, Bulgaria saw a budget surplus representing 3.4 per cent of GDP, ranking among the first 11 countries with a budget surplus. Those countries are: Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Estonia, Spain, Netherlands and Ireland. Their surplus ranges from 5.3 per cent of GDP (Finland) to 0.3 per cent of GDP (Ireland).
The public debt and the budget deficit are two fundamental public finance criteria included in the Maastricht Treaty.