“Our debt has become structural due to past deficits” | EUROtoday

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Laure Quennouëlle-Corre.

Historian, analysis director on the CNRS and connected to the Historical Research Center of the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences the place she is among the leaders of the Economic History Group, Laure Quennouëlle-Corre is a specialist in monetary and financial points. She traces in her work Debt Denial (Flammarion, 368 pages, 21 euros) the very particular building of the connection of the French with their State, between demand for defense and suspicion of ineffectiveness, at the price of a roughly camouflaged and roughly aware consensus on development fixed public debt.

The announcement, by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, on March 26, of an exceeding in 2023 of the brink of three,000 billion euros of public debt (110.26% of gross home product – GDP ) has it created a shock that may make it attainable to reverse what you name “debt denial”?

The topic of public debt comes up recurrently within the French political debate, on varied events supplied by present occasions: on the time of the Treaty of Maastricht [1992]throughout the debate on the “kitty” of a supposed price range surplus [1999], throughout the 2007 presidential marketing campaign, or when a score company “downgrades” France's signature. Then the blow subsides and we don't discuss it once more till the following alternative. The debt, or the way in which to treatment it, has by no means been on the middle of a political program, the problem of an electoral marketing campaign, and a fortiori of an election. The Court of Auditors was this time once more a “whistleblower”, however that’s its regular position. If there’s a shock, it’s inside the public authorities and a restricted group, which fears that these dangerous figures will reinforce exterior strain, from Brussels in addition to from the monetary markets.

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But is it exactly a “problem”, once we see that France has not had a balanced price range since 1975, with out critical financial penalties, that every one developed international locations have comparable debt ranges, that French Treasury bond points are subscribed a number of occasions at nonetheless very low charges?

Yes, it's an issue, as a result of France faces a wall of investments to finance the vitality transition, nationwide (and European) safety within the face of authoritarian states, synthetic intelligence applied sciences, and so on. However, it now not has any room for maneuver, because of the accumulation of earlier deficits, the rise in charges, and the financial union which deprives it of the weapon of devaluation. Our debt has develop into structural on account of previous deficits.

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