Western nations deeply indebted

By Choe Yong Nam

The US Department of Treasury said that national debt reached US$ 22.1 trillion at the outset of this year and it ballooned to a trillion dollars in 11 months.

The US Congressional Budget Office expressed serious apprehensions over the financial situation of the country, saying the national debt would be 100 percent of GDP in 2028.

Japan is also in the same circumstances with the US in terms of national debt.

It owed a record high of well over 1 100 trillion yen as of December last year.

Italy has 2.43 trillion euros of official debt and the national debt accounts for 134 percent of GDP.

In order to reduce the enormous national debt, the Italian government plans to sell out some 400 pieces of real estate under state ownership.

A relevant government official was optimistic about the programme, but experts doubt whether the sale of real estate will change the debt situation.

An economist of Florence University said that the funds raised through the sale of real estate are a drop in the ocean as compared to Italy’s foreign debt. In actuality, 1.2 billion euros of money the government earned in three years by selling real estate are only a two thousandth of the national debt.

Meanwhile, the national debt of Germany was over 1.916 trillion euros as of late last year, while Portugal registered 251.2 billion euros of debt in the second quarter of this year.

Growing national debt has triggered acute financial crises, causing the bankruptcy of businesses.

In Greece, three of ten enterprises that were established between 2009 and 2018 went into bankruptcy. A Greek newspaper has recently said that a total of over 248 790 businesses were ruined as of mid-August this year due to the government’s austerity policy. On Sep 25, the Continental Co of Germany made public that it would reduce about 20 000 jobs in ten years on the pretext of restructuring.

According to information of the EU’s bureau of statistics, the number of the unemployed reached about 15.674 million in June among the EU member states.

(Pyongyang Times - November 17, 2019)