CHART OF THE DAY: The European Countries That Are Most Afraid Of Public Debt

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A recent Eurobarometer survey was conducted in Europe, and it asked participants for the biggest threat that their country faces.

“34% of the respondents in Germany (DE) named public debt as one of the two main problems,” writes Deutsche Bank’s Stefan Vetter. “This is by far the highest number in Europe. A significant proportion of citizens who express their concern about the evolution of public debt can also be found in Austria (24%) and Belgium (23%).”

What’s surprising is that debt-laden countries like Spain (ES), Italy (IT), and Portugal (PT) were close to the bottom of that list.

Vetter explains:

However, the fact that in countries with high public debt levels relatively few respondents mentioned this as one of the main issues should not automatically be interpreted as disregard for the importance of sustainable public finances. The explanation is rather that the economic situation and the high unemployment rates in these countries provide much more cause for concern than in Germany.

So, regardless of whether they believe high debt is the cause of a country’s economic woes, the citizens are more likely to point to be more concerned about immediate and visible threats.

From Deutsche Bank:

chart of the day looks at debt as per cent of gdp in comparison to the importance of debt as a problem for different countries, january 2013

Photo: Deutsche Bank

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