Belgian public debt rises to €469 billion
In the month of February alone, Belgium's federal debt increased by €7.37 billion, according to statistics published by the Belgian Debt Agency. The total federal debt now stands at 468.61 billion euros.
The €7.37 billion increase in February is very high compared to other months. According to the Treasury, this may be partly due to the fact that the Belgian federal government disbursed household energy subsidies in February.
Belgium has been repeatedly criticised by the European Commission for its public spending. In January Belgium recorded the largest budget deficit in the euro area, at around 5.1% of gross domestic product (GDP). The euro area average was 3.3% of GDP.
Last week, credit rating agency Fitch downgraded Belgium's outlook, citing the country's public debt. There is a chance that Belgium’s credit rating will now be downgraded. Next Friday, Standard & Poor's will also publish a new outlook for Belgium.
© BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT