Outside the Eurozone, it is interesting to see that the UK's debt level has increased by 9.6%.
The 27 countries paid a total of over €380 billion in interest payments, which means that 2.9% of GDP is lost in paying these fees. For the 17 eurozone countries, the bill for interest payments was €294 billion - about 3% more than in 2011, and amounting to 3.1% of Eurozone GDP.
If we add the total cost of interest payments for the Eurozone for the entire period for which the figures are available (1995-2012), we get the impressive total of €4.83 trillion, about 55% of all government debt (The numbers in Red mean that the figures are not available for the entire period). French taxpayers have paid out €835 billion and German taxpayers have paid €1,173 billion. But the most generous have been the Italians who have paid out €1,433 billion since 1985.
For the UK, which paid out another £46 billion of taxpayers money in interest in 2012, the total since 1985 now totals £542 billion (€737 billion).
The proportion of debt which is directly attributable to interest payments since 1995 varies a lot between countries. Over all 27 countries, total interest payments have reached €5.97 trillion - lets call that about €6 trillion - a number that constitutes 54% of all government debt. But over 80% of government debt in Sweden, Hungary and Bulgaria can be directly explained by interest payments. And in the Eurozone, the worst examples are Italy and Belgium where over 70% of government debt is the result of interest payments.
I won't bother commenting on these numbers just yet. I think they speak for themselves.