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10/8/2020  
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ECONOMICS
Fourth quarter of 2015

Seasonally adjusted government deficit up to 2.3% of GDP in the euro area


In the fourth quarter of 2015, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 2.3% in the euro area (EA19), an increase compared with 1.8% in the third quarter of 2015. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 2.4%, an increase compared with 2.2% in the previous quarter.
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Looking at the main categories of environmental taxes, taxes on energy (76.5% of total environmental taxes) made up more than three-quarters of the total revenue from environmental taxes in the EU, well ahead of taxes on transport (19.9%) and those on pollution and resources (3.6%).

Highest share of environmental taxes in Slovenia, Croatia and Greece, lowest in Belgium and France

The proportion of environmental taxes in total revenues from taxes and social contributions varied significantly across the EU Member States. With a share above 10%, Slovenia (10.6%), Croatia (10.5%) and Greece (10.2%) were in 2014 the Member States where environmental taxes had the greatest relative importance, ahead of Bulgaria (9.8%), Latvia (9.3%), Cyprus and the Netherlands (both 9.0%). At the opposite end of the scale, Belgium and France (both 4.5%) recorded the lowest shares of environmental taxes in total revenues from taxes and social contributions in 2014, followed by Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden (all 5.2%).

Share of environmental taxes increased the most in Estonia and Slovenia

Between 2004 and 2014, revenues from environmental taxes, expressed in current euros, increased in almost all EU Member States. Over the same period however, the share of environmental taxes in total revenues from taxes and social contributions decreased in a majority of Member States, the largest falls being observed in Cyprus (from 12.3% in 2004 to 9.0% in 2014, or -3.3 percentage points), Portugal and Lithuania (both -3.2 pp), Luxembourg (-3.0 pp), Denmark (-2.6 pp) and Slovakia (-2.0 pp). In contrast, the share of environmental taxes increased between 2004 and 2014 in seven Member States, notably in Greece (+3.3 pp), Slovenia (+1.9 pp), Estonia (+1.6 pp) and Italy (+1.0 pp).

Energy taxes contributed the most in all EU Member States

In every EU Member State, energy taxes generated by far the largest part of environmental tax revenues in 2014. Energy taxes were particularly prominent in Lithuania (93.8%), the Czech Republic (92.6%) and Luxembourg (92.2%) where they accounted for more than 90% of total environmental tax revenues in 2014.

Transport taxes made the second most important contribution to revenues from environmental taxes in all EU Member States, except Estonia. Transport taxes accounted for more than a third of total environmental tax revenues in Malta (40.6%), Ireland (37.9%), Denmark (36.6%), Austria (36.0%) and Belgium (34.0%). Taxes on pollution and resources were less significant, even if in Croatia (17.4%), the Netherlands (13.8%), Estonia (10.9%) and Slovenia (10.8%), they accounted for more than 10% of all revenues from environmental taxes.

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