...creaking and groaning in the edifice of the EU experiment. Deficits falling due to asuterity measures, public debt rising, and nominal and real living standards decreasing. Not good.
The euro zone's aggregated budget deficit fell last year as most countries slashed government spending to restore market confidence in public finances, but the debt still grew, Eurostat data showed.
The European Union's statistics office said on Tuesday the budget deficit in the euro zone in 2010 was 6.0 percent of gross domestic product, down from 6.3 percent in 2009.
Public debt, however, rose to 85.1 percent from 79.3 percent in 2009.
All euro zone countries except Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and Austria improved their budget balance last year, but debt rose in all euro zone countries except Estonia.
Eurostat said Greece, which was forced to seek emergency funding from the euro zone last year because it was effectively cut off from market borrowing due to its large debt, cut its budget gap to 10.5 percent of GDP from 15.4 percent in 2009.
This is well above the initial target of the Greek austerity program of 8 percent and even above the latest estimate from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund of 9.6 percent.