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How many days per year does France live on credit?

HAS hear Emmanuel Macron and the government, the state coffers would be overflowing with money. A corporation complains; public aid is released immediately. It has also become the trademark of this head of state, elected since 2017. Of course, he has been grappling with the health crisis linked to Covid, the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the explosion energy prices…

But judge a little of his incredible generosity: 17 billion euros for the Yellow Vests measures; 7 billion for the energy transition; 2 billion for a cycling plan; 290 million for tobacconists; 150 million for agricultural restructuring, etc. All these checks are leading our budgetary trajectory to deviate, to the point of being far from respecting the standards imposed by the Maastricht Treaty. Our deficit was 5.5% in 2023 according to INSEE; the government swears that it should reach 5.1% this year, well above 3% – the upper limit set by Brussels. As for our debt, it exceeds 3,100 billion euros at the end of 2023. To contain the collapse of the accounts, the government has drawn up a savings plan of 20 billion. A trifle that should hardly breathe new life into our economy? Presumably, because no structural reforms have been announced.

This year, France will borrow 285 billion euros on the markets, according to the program of the France Trésor agency. The debt burden was initially budgeted at 52.2 billion. But to fully understand the extent to which our country is living beyond its means, we asked the Molinari Institute, a liberal think tank, to calculate for us from what day France lives on credit.

The figures are clear.

Day when French public administrations spent everything:

In 1978: December 16

In 1981: December 13

In 1988: December 12

In 1995: November 27

In 2002: December 9

In 2007: December 10

In 2012: November 28

In 2017: December 9

In 2022: December 1st

In 2023: November 22

In itself, it is not serious to get into debt. Except, in the case of France, it involves borrowing to finance current expenses, and not to make real investments: nothing on artificial intelligence, nothing on new technologies, nothing on research, nothing on industry, nothing on supporting the aging of the population, nothing on education… and what about the state of disrepair of our public services (hospitals, schools, etc.)

In 1999, we were less indebted than the euro zone (11% less GDP). In 2009, after the great financial crisis, we reached the euro zone average. And now ? We are 25 points above…

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