Understanding Belgium's Soaring National Debt

Tue. June 18, 6:30PM

Understanding Belgium's Soaring National Debt

Join us for a critical examination of Belgium's fiscal horizon with State Secretary for the Budget, Alexia Bertrand, and economist, Etienne de Callataÿ.

 As Belgium's public debt reaches unprecedented levels, fueled by rising interest rates and surging fiscal deficits, the sustainability of national finances faces a clear challenge.

Is there such a thing as good and bad debt?

This discussion will explore the real impact of public debt on competitiveness and the ability to formulate robust, long-term public policies.  We will learn how adept fiscal management not only offers a pathway to financial stabilization and recovery but can also tip the scales towards austerity and inhibit economic growth. 

Don't miss this opportunity to uncover the intricate balance of public debt management and its broader economic consequences.


Etienne de Callataÿ

Etienne de Callataÿ is a distinguished Belgian economist with a broad career across academia, government, and finance. He graduated from the University of Namur and the London School of Economics. His career highlights include roles at the National Bank of Belgium and the IMF. Etienne served as Chief Economist at Bank Degroof and co-founded Orcadia Asset Management, where his work focuses on macroeconomic strategy and fiscal policy. As a lecturer at the Université Catholique de Louvain and the University of Namur, and through works like "The Return of the Deficit" and "Confessions of an Ordinary Economist," he has made significant contributions to economic education and policy discussions.


Alexia Bertrand

Born into a renowned entrepreneurial family, Alexia Bertrand has carved a significant path in both the legal and political realms. After obtaining her law degree from the Université catholique de Louvain and a Master’s from Harvard Law School, Alexia worked in international law focusing on corporate matters. Her transition into politics was marked by significant roles such as the Chief of Staff for General Policy under Vice Premier Didier Reynders, advising on critical areas including justice, asylum, and economic affairs. Currently serving as the Staatssecretaris for Budget and Consumer Affairs, her acute insights into fiscal responsibilities and budgetary control are invaluable for understanding the subtleties of public debt management.


Salma Haouach

Salma Haouach is a management engineer, graduating from Solvay in 2001. With over 20 years of experience in consulting and strategy across France, Spain, Morocco, and Brussels, Salma has carved a distinguished path in both the corporate and media sectors. She began her media career as an economic editor and commentator for Bel RTL, creating the "Coûte que Coûte" economics/consumer segment. She further expanded her presence in the media with roles at la Première and LN24, where she led and hosted the "Business Club" economic show and covered economic news. Since its inception, she has been a contributing writer for Forbes Belgium. Previously involved with the presidency of the Mouvement Réformateur, Salma is currently the Deputy General Director of Wallonie-Bruxelles Enseignement.
Tue. June 18, 6:30PM
Tue. June 18, 9:00PM
TheMerode Talks
Guest allowed?
Yes, 1 per member


Place Poelaert, 6
1000 Brussels
Parking Poelaert, Place Poelaert 1000 Brussels

Detailed program

Tue. June 18, 6:30PM
Tue. June 18, 7:00PM
Tue. June 18, 8:00PM
Tue. June 18, 9:00PM