Indeed, the failure of Catalonia and eight other regions to meet their 2010 deficit targets has helped to keep worries about Spain’s long-term financial footing alive, despite significant improvement at the national level.
Catalonia, which has traditionally been one of the wealthiest and most industrialized regions in Spain, is now among its worst performers.
Its recently elected government faces the daunting task of having to cut its budget deficit by two-thirds this year to fall back in line with targets set by the central government. At the same time, borrowing costs are rising, adding to an already heavy debt pile.
“For the general population, there has been surprise and even shock at the state of our finances,” Andreu Mas-Colell, the finance minister of Catalonia, said during an interview.
He is planning to cut public spending 10 percent this year, but still expects to have to borrow about €11 billion.
With an economy the size of Portugal’s, Catalonia accounts for 16 percent of the Spanish population, 19 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 27 percent of its exports.
Catalonia’s €30.3 billion of debt, however, represents 28 percent of Spain’s combined regional debt pile, according to figures published in December by the Bank of Spain.Y todavía demandarán ayuda por parte del resto de España para salvar su ruina. Este debate está encima de la mesa en EE.UU., donde los Estados bien gestionados no están por la labor de financiar a los Estados ruinosos. ¿Somos federalistas ahora o no?