(Bloomberg) May 13, 2012 — Spain may intervene in the finances of the northern Spanish principality of Asturias because local politicians have failed to form a government that agrees on cuts to its budget deficit.
“Asturias is especially worrying because the interim situation of the government impedes it from adopting revenues and expenses commitments,” said the Budget Ministry in a statement yesterday. The Spanish government may apply corrective measures or even takeover the region’s accounts, said the ministry.
Asturias’s interim government, led by Francisco Alvarez- Cascos former Peoples Party minister, has been negotiating with other parties since March in an effort to form a coalition. Spain’s regions control more than a third of public spending and their deficit was almost twice their target last year at 2.9 percent of gross domestic product. That pushed the nation’s shortfall to 8.5 percent of GDP compared with a 6 percent European Union limit.
Spain approved in March a new budget stability law allowing it to force all regions to comply with deficit reduction goals.
(Bloomberg) May 13, 2012 — Spanish police made 18 arrests, mostly for public order offences, in Madrid during protests repeated across the country over economic discontent, the Interior Ministry said.
Moves to dissolve the protest in Puerta del Sol, in downtown Madrid, ended earlier today, the ministry said. The deadline to end the protest had been 10 p.m. yesterday, Europa Press reported.
About 72,000 protesters took to the streets across Spain yesterday, including 30,000 in Barcelona and 22,000 in Madrid, the Associated Press said, citing police. There were other protests in Bilbao, Malaga and Seville, AP reported.
The protests commemorated the anniversary of last year’s demonstrations against youth unemployment and the handling of the international financial crisis.
(Bloomberg) May 11, 2012 — Spain will miss its budget-deficit target this year and rack up a shortfall that is more than double its goal in 2013 as unemployment exceeds 25 percent, the European Commission said.
Spain’s overall budget deficit will amount to 6.4 percent of gross domestic product this year and 6.3 percent in 2013, missing the targets of 5.3 percent and 3 percent respectively, the Commission said in its spring forecasts today in Brussels. It sees the economy contracting 0.3 percent in 2013, a more pessimistic view than the government’s, pushing unemployment to 25.1 percent.
Spain is implementing the deepest austerity measures in at least three decades including tax increases and savings in health and education. Concerns over Spain’s deficit and the government’s ability to overhaul lenders without overburdening public finances have helped reignite the sovereign debt crisis, sending Spanish 10-year borrowing costs to more than 6 percent.