> As Europe marks the centenary of the Great War, the Treasury said it would pay off £218m from a 4% consolidated loan next February, as part of a redemption of bonds stretching as far back as the 18th century. They also relate to the South Sea Bubble crisis of 1720, the Napoleonic and Crimean wars and the Irish potato famine.
> Almost £2bn of first world war debt remains, and the government said it was looking into the practicalities of repaying it in full.
"The French government currently honors a very unusual debt contract: an annuity that was issued in 1738 and currently yields 1.20€ per year. I tell the story of this unique debt, which serves as an anecdotal but symbolic summary of French public finances since the 18th century."