Friday

29th Jul 2016

Ballooning deficit to up pressure for Spanish bailout

  • Will the crisis last five more years, as the German Chancellor has predicted? (Photo: Valentina Pop)

The EU commission on Wednesday (7 November) is likely to forecast a larger-than-expected deficit for Spain, adding pressure on the country to ask for a bailout.

Spain's public deficit for this year - already adjusted twice in recent months - is now expected to reach eight percent of the country's gross domestic product, according to draft figures seen by AFP.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

This will be almost two percent more than a previous estimate when Spain obtained a year extra to bring its deficit below the three-percent threshold under EU rules.

In addition, recession is to last until 2014, making it difficult for the Spanish government to push for more austerity measures to bring the deficit down.

But the European Commission has in the past few weeks indicated it will not suggest Madrid be sanctioned for missing its deficit target this year so long as it sticks to the 2014 deadline of bringing the public finance gap below three percent.

Part of the extra expenditure is the bank bailout which is to be reimbursed from the eurozone bailout fund in the coming months. Up to €100 billion had been earmarked from the eurozone fund, but an audit has since said only about €60 billion will be needed.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tried to be positive about the future. "In 2014, there'll be growth in Spain. The worst year will have been 2012 and next year will be better," he said in a radio interview on Tuesday.

"All the measures we're taking are aimed at economic recovery ... it's very difficult to create jobs when you owe so much."

But with one in four workers out of a job and regions asking for bailouts from the government, the pressure on the government to ask for a full-blown eurozone bailout is set to increase.

Greece

Meanwhile, the Greek parliament is due to vote on the €13.5 billion worth of spending cuts demanded by the troika of international lenders in order to disburse the next tranche of bailout money. Without this tranche, Greece faces the prospect of bankruptcy by mid-November.

But Greeks - with the country in its fifth year of recession - have little appetite for more cuts. A general strike, started Tuesday, in protest at the continuing austerity measure has virtually closed the country down.

Meanwhile, support within the ruling coalition for the cuts is also shaky. But Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has indicated he is confident that MPs from the opposition will back the bill, securing enough votes to pass it.

The rest of Europe is watching the debate closely. "Our Greek friends don't have different options or another choice. They have to do it," Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker said during a lecture in Singapore also on Tuesday.

EU to tweak rules on Chinese 'dumping'

The EU Commission has tried to fudge the issue of whether China is a “market economy” amid efforts to protect European industry from cheap exports.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue Platform
  2. GoogleHelping Emergency Services Find You When You Need It Most
  3. Counter BalanceWhat's New in the Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  4. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016
  5. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  6. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  7. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  8. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  9. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  10. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  11. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  12. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company