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Spain may extend car-buying subsidy programme

Source: Reuters - Wed 16th Jan 2013
Spain may extend car-buying subsidy programme

Spain's government is considering extending a car-buying subsidy programme introduced last year to stimulate a flagging market hit by recession and a September tax hike, Energy, Industry and Tourism Minister Jose Maria Soria said on Wednesday.

"The plan we have in place now has been a success and the government is studying extending it. But first we will need to find the necessary resources for it," Soria said at a news conference in Madrid.

New car registrations fell 13% in 2012 in Spain, where 1 in 4 of the workforce is jobless and consumer confidence has plummeted in the face of harsh austerity measures and economic uncertainty.

The government's new car subsidy scheme introduced on October 1 made the slide in car sales less marked than expected after a hike in value-added tax on September 1.

However, new car registrations in December dropped 23% in Spain, far steeper than the EU average of 16%.

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