Debt development in Ireland and Spain: The same or different? Pre- and post-crisis analysis
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The aim of this paper is to present the development of general government debt in two Eurozone countries: Ireland and Spain that suffered from serious imbalance in public finance during the last crisis. Prior to the crisis, both economies were developing well against the background of the whole Eurozone and had a relatively good situation in public finance. The genesis of the crisis was also quite similar in these two countries. The similarity of factors influencing the crisis and the pre-crisis high development of both economies were among the reasons for selection of these two countries to be compared. Thus, the article focuses on the outbreak of the crisis and the fiscal consolidation period of 2008-2015, however the pre-crisis analysis is also provided. The debt sustainability analysis carried out in the article shows the possibility of growing out of debt in both countries depending on the macroeconomic circumstances. Both Ireland and Spain have been aiming to achieve a primary surplus. Besides the similarity of pre-crisis conditions, in this respect, the progress was highly noticeable, especially in Ireland, where it resulted from a fiscal consolidation but also a high real GDP dynamics that supported the process. Due to this, Ireland has already managed to lower the debt-to- -GDP ratio and put it on a downward path. Spain, on the contrary, has recorded a high debt-to-GDP ratio which is still on the upward path and is forecasted to continue until 2016.
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