Big government makes Europe a no-grow zone

Unwieldy state tentacles are strangling Europe's economic advancement, with government still responsible for over 45 per cent of GDP. If the region wants to grow, it must downsize.

On Monday Europe’s statistical agency, Eurostat, published its official annual data for the European Union’s public finances. Superficially, there is at least some good news in the figures: the eurozone deficit for 2012 was 3.7 per cent of GDP. That is certainly high. Too high, in fact, for the European treaties, which only allow 3 per cent of new debt per year. But at least it is better than the 4.2 per cent deficit recorded in 2011, let alone the 6.2 per cent deficit in 2010 or the 6.4 per cent in 2009.

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