BERLIN Aug 14 Germany reduced its roughly 2
trillion euros of public debt last year for the first time since
post-war records began in 1950, helped by the reduction of toxic
assets in government-run bad banks, the Statistics Office said
The combined debts of the federal government, the 16 federal
states and local authorities plus social security fell by 1.5
percent, or 30.3 billion euros. That leaves the overall debt
burden in Europe's biggest economy at 2.04 trillion euros.
The strongest decrease, 5.2 percent, was in the area of
social security, said the Statistics Office.
Federal and state government debts had been eased because
toxic assets that came from state-owned banks Hypo Real Estate
and WestLB were off-loaded. These assets were parked
in so-called bad banks during the global financial crisis.
At the federal level, Germany is aiming to have no new
borrowing next year. Low employment and steady growth have
generated record tax revenues while rock-bottom interest rates
have reduced the burden of servicing Germany's 1.3 trillion
euros of federal debt.
In the next three years, the federal government expects its
debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) to fall to
under 70 percent from nearly 80 percent.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Noah Barkin)