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Best in class 2010 Estonia ended 2010 with a small budget surplus, report Eurostat. The surplus ended up at +0,1% of the GDP, making Estonia best in class in this league last year.

Sweden came up at second place with a +/- 0% budget balance, while Ireland was found at the bottom with a budget deficit equaling -32,4% of the country’s GDP.

Estonia managed to achieve its budget surplus by selling off pollution quotas, and for this year the Ministry of Finance forecast a budget deficit equivalent to 0,4% of the GDP. This is forecasted to grow to 2,8% in 2012 and Estonia will most likely reach a budget surplus again in 2015, says the Ministry.

Out of the 27 European Union countries, 21 member states recorded a 2010 improvement in their budget balance compared to 2009, while others saw it worsening. e-focus has the complete Eurostat list:

Budget Balance EU27 countries % of GDP
2010 2009
Estonia +0,1 -1,7
Sweden 0,0 -0,7
Luxembourg -1,7 -0,9
Finland -2,5 -2,6
Denmark -2,7 -2,7
Bulgaria -3,2 -4,7
Germany -3,3 -3,0
Malta -3,6 -3,7
Belgium -4,1 -5,9
Hungary -4,2 -4,5
Austria -4,6 -4,1
Italy -4,6 -5,4
Czech Republic -4,7 -5,9
Cyprus -5,3 -6,0
Netherlands -5,4 -5,5
Slovenia -5,6 -6,0
Rumania -6,4 -8,5
France -7,0 -7,5
Lithuania -7,1 -9,5
Latvia -7,7 -9,7
Poland -7,9 -7,3
Slovakia -7,9 -8,0
Portugal -9,1 -10,1
Spain -9,2 -11,1
United Kingdom -10,4 -11,4
Greece -10,5 -15,4
Ireland -32,4 -14,4
Eurozone - average -6,0 -6,3
EU27 - average -6,4 -6,8