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Regional Finance Chiefs called to Madrid by Salgado

Wed 27th Jul 2011

The regional President of Castille-la-Mancha, Maria Dolores de Cospedal , spoke earlier today of her plans to reduce the regional defecit five-fold, without having to resort to an increase in taxes. Last year the deficit stood at 6.5% of GDP, compared to a target of 1.3% by the end of the year.

de Cospedal also confirmed that they currently only had sufficient funds to pay the wages of public workers until the end of September.

The President found herself in the unenviable position when she was elected into power as the PP's candidate in opposition to the previous PSOE administration - leading the first PP regional government since Spain's return to democracy.

The total combined regional debt currently stands at 121 billion euros - 11% of overall GDP, a worrying situation which has forced two of the regions with the most debt to sell bonds to residents. Financial representatives from each of the regions are currently meeting with the National Finance Minister, Elena Salgado, to discuss their budgets and solutions to the situation.

The region of Castilla-La Mancha has been prevented from issuing any more debt until central government has approved its spending plans, as it owes suppliers alone over 2.5 Billion Euros. The total debt of the region comes to 6.1 billion euros, or 16.9% of GDP, according to Bank of Spain reports.

Cospedal plans achieve her goal by cutting costs and "rationalizing" public companies, but is ruling out increasing taxes and has said how now is not the time to make citizens pay for health services, while she aims to pool resources with other regions and will create a new department specifically to oversee budget control.

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