Italy's public debt rises to record high in May

Italy's public debt rose to a new high of 1,827.1 billion euros in May, up 15 billion euros from that of April, the Bank of Italy said Tuesday.

It was the fifth monthly rise in a row, leading to an accumulated increase of 65.8 billion euros, or 3.7 percent, since the end of 2009.

The previous record was 1,801.635 billion euros, set in October 2009, according to the country's ANSA news agency.

With its gross domestic product at around 2 trillion U.S. dollars, Italy has one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world. The government has been pushing through a two-year emergency 24.9-billion-euro austerity package in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis.

[Source: Reuters, Rome, 13Jul10]

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