Regions to shore up finances with drastic 2012 budget cuts

Twelve plans submitted so far show average 14-percent spending reductions

EVA SÁIZ Madrid 28 NOV 2011 - 13:58 CET

Faced with growing pressure from Madrid to reduce their deficits, regional governments are planning significant cutbacks in public works investment for 2012. Twelve out of the 17 semi-autonomous regions that make up Spain have drafted or finalized their budgets, and these show an average 14-percent cut in public money for infrastructure, or 1.7 billion euros less than this year.

The decision represents a new setback for one of the main engines of job creation in a country with nearly 21 percent of its workforce sitting idle. But the central government wants to ensure that the country meets the overall deficit target set by the EU of three percent of GDP by 2013.

Few regional governments have dared to make cuts in social spending, and even fewer to raise taxes, with the exceptions so far of Andalusia and Aragon. Other parts of the country like Catalonia are experimenting with alternative formulas such as higher rates for water consumption and public transportation, steeper college fees, and a co-payment model for prescriptions obtained through the public health system.

With the year about to end, only six regions (Andalusia, Galicia, the Canary Islands, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and Madrid) have already presented their official budgets for 2012. Navarre, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Murcia and Extremadura have put forward drafts, while the rest have yet to do even that, alleging that they cannot estimate their expenses until they know exactly how much they will be getting from the central government.

Everyone is waiting for the incoming prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, to come up with some specifics. Economy Minister Elena Salgado advanced some figures in July, but admitted that these may not be the definitive ones.

A sharp drop in revenues and the 1.3-percent deficit target for the regions has pushed their governments to slash public investment. Although everyone insists that social services will remain untouched, the fact is that outlays will be reduced by 1.56 percent next year.

Otras noticias

Últimas noticias

Ver todo el día

La diminuta Oceanía sigue perdida

L. J. GONZÁLEZ Londres

Samoa, la gran baza de los isleños para alcanzar cuartos, decepciona tras el motín con el que sus jugadores exigieron modernizar su federación

Rabat, baja en Motegi, hace a Zarco nuevo campeón de Moto2

El francés será campeón virtual este sábado, cuando el español, que se fracturó el radio el lunes, no se clasifique para la carrera del domingo

Chile se impone a un Brasil peleón pero sin rumbo

La Roja vence en casa (2-0) a la canarinha en un partido trabado que se decidió en la recta final con goles de Vargas y Alexis


Una casa por sólo 6.000 euros

La Bienal de Arquitectura de Chicago exhibe un rompedor prototipo de vivienda para los más pobres

Barcelona, capital del móvil robado

Daniel Verdú Barcelona

La ciudad, un problema para las operadoras por los fraudes de mafias

Lo más visto en...

» Top 50

Webs de PRISA

cerrar ventana