April 1, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Unfavorable Belgian debt situation, urgent measures are required: “If we do nothing, reality will force us sooner or later”

© Robin Utrecht

A return to the European budget system led to a lively debate in the room on Tuesday between left and right. If public debt and the costs of aging are combined, Belgium belongs to the countries in the risk zone, and ranks last in Europe, after Italy, according to an analysis by the Planning Office. If policy remains the same, our country is heading for a debt of nearly 160% of GDP and a deficit of 9%. Therefore, urgent measures are needed to ensure debt sustainability, it is said, but the Planning Office does not believe that Belgium is in danger of ending up in a scenario like the one seen in Greece.

gjssource: BELGA

Figures from the Planning Office presented their report to the Parliamentary Committee on Finance on Tuesday on the implications for our country of the new budget laws the European Commission is working on. A meeting of finance ministers was held on the subject on Tuesday. For Belgium, these new rules may amount to a fiscal restructuring of 4 percent of GDP in 4 years, although this period could be extended to 7 years.

Measures must be taken. And delay can be dangerous. If we end up with an unsustainable level of debt, if we do nothing, reality will force us sooner or later. It is better to anticipate in order to make adjustments as gradual as possible, which are the least difficult for families and the economic fabric,” confirmed Planning Office Commissioner Baudouin Rigot.

Budget control

The performance took place a few days before the start of the budget review. On the left, the European slopes are poorly digestible. The Socialist Party is skeptical of the austerity course, the consequences of which will be painful and counterproductive at the macroeconomic level. But the Greens also believe that European discourse remains blind to other aspects, such as the environmental transition.

Benoît Piedboeuf (MR) said: “When you borrow money, you have to pay it back and not do it with concepts and states of mind.” For Christian Lissen (Open VLD) it’s time to act. “The situation is worrying. We cannot go on like this.”


There was also concern over the opposition seats. “Belgium is a very dangerous country. It’s admirable to face the facts,” said Sander Lounes (N-VA). Being in the eurozone means you have to respect some rules, he stated. “You have to be able to take your responsibility.” Josy Arens () opined Les Engagés) The difficult 1990s loomed on the horizon, when Belgium had to fulfill the conditions to be part of the European Monetary Union.

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