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Alexandra Colen
Belgian MP

Today we are witnessing a serious moral crisis. The future has been sacrificed on the altar of the welfare state. The moral decay of nations can be read in their debt ratios. Most parents would be ashamed to leave their children an inheritance of debts. But this is exactly what governments in Western Europe and North America have been doing over the past two decades. The average government debt of the seven biggest industrial nations in the world has risen to 75 per cent of annual Gross Domestic Product, the sum of what a nation produces in one year. A public debt of 75 per cent of GDP means quite simply that every citizen will have to work for free for the state during nine months in order to allow the state to pay back the debts of the past.

1996 - from Right Now, BCM Right, London