MADRID, June 6 Spain has extended its subsidy
scheme for new car purchases with a further 175 million euros
($238 million), Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria
said on Friday, as part of a larger economic stimulus plan.
New car sales in Spain rose for a ninth straight month in
May, largely due to state credits from the PIVE scheme. The
extension is the sixth time the programme has been topped up.
Spanish carmakers' association Anfac said the support had
allowed it to raise its full-year car sales forecast to 850,000
from 820,000. Top car sellers in the country include Germany's
Volkswagen and its Seat brand.
The economic stimulus package, announced by Prime Minister
Mariano Rajoy on Saturday, is worth 6.3 billion euros and
includes measures to boost Spanish industry, research and
development, energy-saving and transport.
"This plan aims to improve competitiveness and promote
efficiency as well as make the most of budgetary resources
available and eliminate, or reduce to a minimum, any obstacles
to growth," Saenz de Santamaria said at the press conference
following the weekly cabinet meeting.
Spain's economy emerged from a two year recession in the
second half of last year and grew at its fastest quarterly pace
in six years January to March, though efforts to reduce a large
budget deficit via austerity measures have choked investment.
Saenz de Santamaria gave few details of the stimulus plan
which also includes new credit lines from the state credit
agency ICO for small and medium-sized companies.
The stimulus package would have no effect on Spain's public
debt or deficit, she said.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Mark Potter)