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Who holds Italian government debt? A Primer

Daniel Gros, (2019), “Who holds Italian government debt? A Primer”, CEPS, Policy Insights No 2019-11/Ιούνιος 2019

The debt to GDP ratio of Italy remains at 130% of GDP, the second highest in the euro area. Moreover, under current policy settings it is poised even to increase, rather than fall, over the next few years. This outlook has led the European Commission to start a debt-driven excessive deficit procedure against the country. The key issue is not so much the deficit, which has remained below 3% of GDP so far, but the fact that public debt is not falling. Whether or not this procedure will go beyond its early stages is not clear. But it is certain that in the end, all the European authorities could do is to impose a fine of a few decimals of a percent of GDP.

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