- IRS official refuses to answer questions at scandal hearing |
- Global stocks, oil fall after Bernanke; dollar gains |
- Oklahoma tornado victims astounded at how they survived |
- CORRECTED-White House threatens veto of bill to bypass Obama on Keystone
- British soldier hacked to death in suspected Islamist attack
Spain's Catalonia studying aid, but in no rush
MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's north-eastern region of Catalonia, responsible for a fifth of the country's economic output, is studying a government plan to help it meet a heavy funding schedule, but says it will not decide whether to sign up until later this year.
On Friday, the eastern region Valencia became the first to call for aid of around 3.5 billion euros from a 18 billion euro government fund being set up to help cover maturing debt costs this year.
Analysts say several others of Spain's 17 autonomous regions could echo Valencia's request, which triggered a new wave of risk aversion among investors that has brought Spain closer to a full-blown international bailout.
Catalonia, Spain's most indebted region, has debt repayments of 3.4 billion euros ($4.12 billion) in the second half of the year, including a 2.76 billion euro bond falling due at the end of November.
"We have not asked for a rescue. The law makes clear it will depend on a vote from the (Catalan) senate. We'll talk about the liquidity funds for Q4," the government of Catalonia said on its official Twitter account on Tuesday.
Catalonia has previously called for Spain's central government to help the region with its funding, and campaigned for the last year for the Treasury to help its finances through the introduction of 'hispanobonos', bonds issued by the state for the regions.
But it insisted on Tuesday it was not ready to tap the bailout fund, and was still looking at the fine print of how the fund would operate.
"Until the mechanism is fully implemented there is no rush to decide," said a spokeswoman for the region's government.
The central government funding comes with strict conditions tying recipients to tough deficit limits that many say will be hard to meet as revenues fall and austerity measures bite.
Andreu Mas-Colell, the head of the region's finance department, told BBC radio on Tuesday that Catalonia's funding relied on the state treasury. The spokeswoman said he had been misinterpreted and that this was not a reference to a specific aid request.
(Reporting by Nigel Davies; Editing by John Stonestreet)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this