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REGIONAL DEBT

Galicia premier denies cooking the books to meet deficit target

Socialist electoral candidate accuses region’s PP government after audit court detects irregularities

The government of Galicia carried over some 411 million euros in bills in public accounts from the 2010 to 2011 budgets to help meet its deficit goal of 2.4 percent last year, according to a report conducted by the regional audit court.

After EL PAÍS published the findings of the audit, Galicia’s regional finance commissioner issued a statement saying that the accounts were approved by the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council (CPFF) of the previous Socialist government and denied the conclusions of the report.

In the midst of a regional election campaign, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the Popular Party (PP) regional premier, has said that “it was impossible” that 411 million in pending bills were carried over from one budget to another.

However, of the 265.7 million euros in pending expenses transferred from 2010 to the 2011 regional accounts from eight government agencies, the audit court found that 83.95 percent of that money was moved in an illegal manner. The remainder of the 411 million was misclassified through bad accounting practices in other budgetary allotments, the audit shows.

“The accounts never added up then, and now I know why,” said Pachi Vázquez, the Socialist leader in Galicia who is running against Núñez Feijóo in the October 21 regional elections.