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Regional Deficit Over Target For Year To Date

Source: El Pais - Fri 9th Sep 2011

The regional governments ended the first half of the year with a total deficit of 1.2% of GDP - one decimal point away from the Zapatero administration's goal of meeting a 1.3% figure for the year as a whole, the Minister of Economy announced yesterday. Elena Salgado said how she will meet with the representatives of 12 regional governments next week to ask them to tighten their belts so that the government can meet its objective and calm the markets.

"The government will meet its target, both at the national level and in the regions," she said, urging administrations around the country to implement the measures enshrined in a financial stability plan, which was signed by all regions with the exception of Castilla-La Mancha and Catalonia.

Castilla-La Mancha's deficit is now greater than 4% of its GDP and the deficits in Extremadura and the Balearics are beyond 2%.

The Minister did not dismiss the possibility of changes to taxation laws as a means of raising revenue, but confirmed that there would be no further spending cuts.

"At the central government level, there is no measure expected in terms of spending, neither today nor tomorrow. In terms of revenue, again, there is no proposal expected neither today nor tomorrow," she said.

Yesterday the chief of the prime minister's office, Ramón Jáuregui, spoke of reintroducing wealth tax. Salgado confirmed that if the government approved this measure the decree could be prepared in a matter of hours.

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