Ireland had the third biggest deficit in the European Union (EU) last year at 8.2 percent, according to new figures from Eurostat on Monday.
The EU statistical office showed Ireland also had the fourth largest debt to GDP ratio last year at 117.4 percent.
Eurostat said the largest deficit was recorded by Spain, followed by Greece. Spain's deficit stood at 10.6 percent, while the Greek deficit was 9 percent last year. A total of 17 member states had deficits higher than 3 percent of GDP.
The lowest deficits were seen in Estonia and Sweden (-0.2 percent), Luxembourg (-0.6 percent) and Bulgaria (-0.8 percent). Germany achieved a government surplus of 1 percent last year.
The biggest debt to GDP ratios were recorded by Greece (156.9 percent), Italy (127 percent) and Portugal (124.1 percent). The lowest debt to GDP ratios were seen in Estonia (9.8 percent), Bulgaria (18.5 percent) and Luxembourg (21.7 percent).
Last year, the government deficit of both the 17-member euro area and the 28-member EU decreased in absolute terms compared with 2011, while the government debt rose in both zones.
In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio decreased from 4.2 percent in 20113 to 3.7 percent in 2012 and in the EU from 4.4 percent to 3.9 percent. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio increased from 87.3 percent at the end of 2011 to 90.6 percent at the end of 2012 and in the EU from 82.3 percent to 85.1 percent.