OREANDA-NEWS. With slightly more than a quarter (27%) of total government debt having a term below one year, Sweden registered in 2015 the highest proportion of short-term initial maturities of debt among the Member States for which data are available. Hungary (15%), Italy and Portugal (both 14%) as well as France (11%) also recorded shares of shortterm maturity debt above 10%. At the opposite end of the scale, almost all debt was made up of long-term maturities in Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

This information comes from a report released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. It provides detailed information on general government debt in the EU Member States broken down by subsector, financial instrument, debt holder, maturity, currency of issuance as well as government guarantees and other features. Only a small selection is published in this news release.

General government gross debt mainly financed by debt securities in most Member States

In 2015, debt securities were the main financial instrument in almost all EU Member States. This was particularly the case in Malta (92% of total government debt), the Czech Republic (90%), the United Kingdom (89%), Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia (all 85%), France and Italy (both 84%). In contrast loans largely prevailed only in Estonia, Greece and Cyprus, where they accounted for 89%, 78% and 69% respectively. The use of loans was also high in Luxembourg (42%), Portugal (39%) and Croatia (37%). The use of currency and deposits was in general very low, except in Ireland (10%), the United Kingdom (9%), Italy and Portugal (both 8%).

More than three-quarters of debt held by non-residents in Lithuania, Slovenia and Finland

Significant differences can be observed across the EU regarding the sector in which government debt is held.

Among Member States for which data are available, the share of public debt held by non-residents in 2015 was highest in Cyprus, Lithuania, Slovenia and Finland (all with 76% of total government debt), followed by Austria (73%) and Latvia (72%). In contrast, the largest proportion of debt held by the resident financial corporations sector was recorded in Denmark (63%), ahead of Luxembourg and Malta (both 62%), Italy (60%), Croatia and the United Kingdom (both 59%). Generally across the EU, less than 10% of debt was held by the resident nonfinancial sectors, with the noticeable exceptions of Malta (29%), Hungary (14%) and Ireland (10%).