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France public debt exceeds 90% of GDP

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The public sector debt in France soared to over 90 percent of the GDP in the second quarter of 2012.

New figures show that France’s public sector debt soared to over 90 percent of the crisis-hit country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2012.

According to official figures released by France’s National Statistics Institute (INSEE) on Friday, the debt has increased by 43.2 billion euros (55.8 billion dollars) since the end of March.

The public debt stood at 89.3 percent of the GDP at the end of the first quarter, while the eurozone has put the theoretical debt limit to 60 percent of the GDP.

The institute also stated that the surge in debt stems from an increase of 51.3 billion euros in the national government’s debt from April through June.

On Wednesday, French Labor Minister Michel Sapin said unemployment figures for August showed that about three million people were jobless, the highest record since 1999.

“These three million unemployed embody the failure of economic and social policies undertaken during the last few years,” said a French Labor Ministry statement, adding that the government will implement reforms in the near future.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland.

The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.


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