Further to my last post, here is a chart showing change in real government consumption expenditure between 2007 and 2012 for a large number of European countries. Data are from the OECD. As a friend of mine reasonably points out, these figures do not include government investment (which may well have decreased over the time period in question). Nor do they account for population increases. Indeed, the total European population increased by 1.8% in 2009, 1.9% in 2010 and 1.7% in 2011.