Castilla-La Mancha cuts civil servant wages to trim deficit
The premier of the region of Castilla-La Mancha, María Dolores de Cospedal, on Friday announced further spending cuts, including a three-percent reduction in the wages of civil servants, to rein in the region's deficit.
Cospedal — who is also the secretary general of the Popular Party, which won an absolute majority in the November 20 general elections — said the new measures would save the cash-strapped region an additional 350 million euros on top of the 1.815 billion euros earmarked in the austerity plan for this year and the next that she unveiled at the end of August.
Castilla-La Mancha currently has a public deficit of 4.4 percent of GDP, but that is expected to swell to 9.7 percent by the end of this year. That is way above the 1.3-percent ceiling set for this year by the outgoing Socialist government.
At a meeting earlier this week with PP regional premiers, Prime Minister-elect Mariano Rajoy underscored the need for the regions to meet the deficit target set them.
The new measures also extend the working week of civil servants to 37.5 hours a week from 35 hours at present.
The biggest cuts will be in healthcare by privatizing a number of hospitals in the region.