April 3, 2018 / 7:58 AM / in 6 months

May take decades to cut Spain public debt to 60 pct of GDP - C.Bank

MADRID, April 3 (Reuters) - It may take several decades to bring Spanish public debt down to 60 percent of economic output from the current level of nearly 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), Bank of Spain Governor Luis Maria Linde said on Tuesday.

“Under plausible assumptions, the de-leveraging process of the public sector towards levels considered safer will be very gradual in Spain, and in developed economies in general, possibly taking up to several decades to reach the reference value of 60 percent of debt-to-GDP,” Linde said during a conference in Madrid, citing simulations by Bank of Spain staff.

Spanish public debt has risen, from just below 40 percent of GDP from before the 2008-2013 economic crisis, as the government was forced to borrow heavily to offset rising debt costs and falling tax income. (Reporting by Paul Day, editing by Isla Binnie)

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