What I said was not Wildean in its wit, nor Orwellian in its incisiveness, I merely regurgitated a load of numbers. But they obviously hit a nerve.
Here’s what I tweeted:
Maastricht said debt-GDP should be <60%
(For the sake of accuracy, Spain and France’s debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to hit 100% this year, so that 100% figure above is not official yet).
The treaty they ignored when it suited themWhat ‘100% debt-to-GDP’ means is that the entire output of a country over a year is equal to the amount of money its government owes.
The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 was ‘the pillar structure of the European Union’ and it laid the foundations for the union’s currency. It was quite specific – laudably so – in its call for fiscal integrity: the ‘ratio of gross government debt to GDP must not exceed 60%’ and annual deficits should be ‘no greater than 3% of GDP’.
As Dickens so famously put it: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds, ought and six, result misery.”
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