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How does our economic situation compare with other EU countries?
12/05/2011 07:03:00

Much of the political debate about the economic legacy of the last government centres around the difference between debt (the total amount of money a country owes) and the deficit (the amount of money it is looking to borrow in a given year).

Labour like to talk about debt. Although the amount of money we owe as a percentage of the size of our economy has increased, on this measure we are not in as bad a position as the likes of Greece, Ireland, Italy or Portugal. Conservatives argue that the key measure is the deficit - what matters is whether anyone will lend you the money you need to borrow this year to maintain services - and on this measure only Ireland is in a bigger mess than us.

Anyway, if you want to have a look at the figures yourself free from any political spin there is a really good page on the BBC website, which compares the UK's debt, deficit, growth and unemployment with other EU countries.

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