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French towns €60.7bn in debt

Council debt for inhabitants in one Paris suburb hits more than €11,447 each

FRANCE’S 36,000 towns and communes are €60.7billion in debt this year – with the debt per citizen in Paris suburb Levallois-Perret hitting €11,447, the highest in the country.

The total debt has grown by €10bn since 2000, up 20.5% in the last 10 years, and the rate of increase is accelerating as the rise was 0.9% in 2009-10, 1.1% in 2010-11 and up 2.3% in 2011-12.

Levallois-Perret’s debt of more than €11,000 per inhabitant is 305% up on the figure for 2000 and while it fell 0.3% over the past year it is only the second time it has fallen.

Cannes on the Riviera is second on the list of most indebted towns, with 3,733 per inhabitant, followed by Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis, on €3,390.

Although the size of the debt is not necessarily a bad sign if, for instance, funds are being used to invest for the future and are able to be repaid, figures have shown that Paris leads the way for the total debt owed, with €3.26bn with Marseille next on €1.8bn, Levallois-Perret on €731million and Nice on €385m.

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