Not just in the production of reigning Popes, but also, according to according to a report from the Commission, in subsidies. (As reported in a German newspaper whose website really could be better organized.)
Germany spend ?16.5 billion on subsidies in 2003, the latest year for which statistics are available, nearly one-third of the EU-15 total of ?53 billion. Part of the lead is the natural result of Germany having the largest economy in the EU. The next closest subsidizers are France (?9 billion) and Italy (?7 billion). The EU’s fourth G7 economy, the UK, spent ?4.2 billion, a share of GDP that was less than half the Union average.
As a share of GDP, Finland leads (1.41%), followed by Portugal (1.24%), Germany (0.77%) and Ireland (0.69%).
This was also interesting: “Of the ?9.7 bn of aid (in cases for which the aid amount is known) declared illegal by the Commission and due to be recovered under decisions adopted since 2000, some ?6.7 bn (including interest) had been effectively recovered by the end of 2004. Four Member States (Germany, Spain, Italy and France) account for more than 90% of the pending recovery cases.”
The new members were assessed separately earlier in the year. They were also assessed somewhat differently (transition to a market economy and all that), although interestingly the top two subsidizers in GDP terms were not post-Communist countries but Malta (3.9%) and Cyprus (2.9%).
Germany trails, however, in economic growth. Alas.