Despite a slew of bailout measures, the collective debt of countries using the euro has increased by more than 355 billion euros since the first quarter of 2011, bringing the total debt of the eurozone to 88.2 percent of GDP for the first quarter of 2012.
The European Union also experienced a substantial increase in collective debt, which has risen by more than 620 billion euros to a total of more than 10 trillion euros, or 83.4 percent of GDP, since the first quarter of 2011.
The highest debt-to-GDP ratios were in the troubled economies of Italy, Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Greece, Portugal and Ireland all received bailouts from the EU, and Italy may soon need one as well, experts say.
Despite those bailouts and other austerity measures, debt has increased by 17 percentage points in Portugal, 8 percentage points in Ireland and 3.8 percentage points in Italy since 2011.
Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio has decreased by 20 percentage points in the last two years, but the country remains the most indebted nation in the EU and the eurozone.
On Tuesday EU officials said there was little hope that Greece could meet the terms of its bailout agreement and pay its debts, Reuters reported.
Spain also continues to struggle. The country’s unemployment rate remains 25 percent, the highest in Europe.
The Spanish government has said it expects to stay in an economic recession next year.
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