The Spanish Government will study Catalonia’s petition for a temporary loan if the Liquidity Fund is not in place yet

September 3, 2012 11:43 PM | CNA

The Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, asked the Spanish Government to set up a temporary short-term loan system if the announced Liquidity Fund for the Autonomies is not in place this September. The Catalan Government has been insisting on the urgent need to define and put into force this financial tool to provide the Autonomous Communities with liquidity now their access to international financial markets is impossible as they face unsustainable interest rates. In addition, Mas-Colell stated that it is very likely that more budget cuts will be needed in 2013 to meet the 0.7% deficit target. He also criticised the Spanish Government for imposing stricter deficit objectives for the Autonomies while Brussels gives Spain greater flexibility.

The Catalan Government requests €5.02 billion from the Spanish Executive but will not accept “political conditions”

August 28, 2012 10:32 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government emphasised the money requested comes from Catalan taxpayers, since Catalonia pays €17 billion each year for services and investments in the rest of Spain. Nonetheless, the Catalan Executive stated it will meet the deficit targets and will follow the already approved austerity plan. The Spanish PM and leader of the People’s Party (PP) confirms it will “help Catalonia as we help the other Autonomous Communities”. However, the PP Spokesperson in Catalonia said the Catalan Government will have to accept whatever the conditions are. The Catalan Socialists want to know what the €5 billion will be spent on before supporting the decision. The Catalan Independence parties criticised the decision for having given away Catalonia’s autonomy.

Spanish PM says he will study the proposal of a new economic agreement between Catalonia and Spain

August 27, 2012 11:35 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Answering a letter from the Catalan President, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, stated he would study the proposal voted by the Catalan Parliament which aims to reduce the solidarity contribution from Catalonia to the rest of Spain and have all taxes raised by a Catalan-run agency. However, Rajoy had previously stated this issue was out of discussion, especially in the current economic context. A vast majority of the Catalan Parliament considers that it is precisely due to the financial stress provoked by the crisis that it is urgent to debate the excessive transfer of revenues from Catalonia to the rest of Spain. The Spanish PM also stated he has agreed to meet with the Catalan President to discuss this proposal, but he expects to talk about many other issues.

CaixaBank invests €125 million into Portugal’s BPI and increases its share to 46.22%

August 10, 2012 10:49 PM | CNA / Josep Molina / David Tuxworth

The Catalan bank, which leads the Spanish market, increases its share in the Portuguese Investment Bank by 7 percentage points increasing its stake from 39.5% to 46.22%. CaixaBank purchased just over 251 million shares in the capital increase offered by the Portuguese financial entity, at a cost of €125 million. Caixabank had already said it would extend its share in the BPI.

The Catalan President asks citizens for “explicit statements” supporting a new fiscal agreement with Spain

August 9, 2012 11:28 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, also talked about the delays of August payments to social care organisations, and he “hoped to be in a better situation” next month. However Mas could not give “a total guarantee” as it depends on whether the Spanish Government activates the Liquidity Fund for the Autonomies. In fact, Mas urged the Spanish Government to do so at the end of this month and said it is “illogical” to make a grand announcement about the measure and then not implement it.

Catalonia considering financing from the regional liquidity fund, but rejects claims it is seeking a rescue

July 24, 2012 06:58 PM | CNA

Catalonia has not asked for a rescue from Spain, said the spokesman of the Catalan government, Francesc Homs. At a press conference, Homs denied reports that Catalonia is seeking a full bail-out, but admitted the government is considering participating in the Regional Liquidity Fund. “This is a treasury mechanism”, said Homs, who added that by using the fund Catalonia would not have to meet “any new set of conditions”. When presenting the €18bn fund last week, the Spanish government said the aid will be only offered under “strict conditionality”.

CaixaBank, BBVA and Santander resist the stress test and would not require bailout money

June 22, 2012 01:05 AM | CNA

Independent auditors state that in the worst possible scenario the Spanish banking system would need up to €62 billion. The Eurozone agreed to put at Spain’s disposal up to €100 billion if needed. In the most likely scenario, the Spanish banking system would require between €16 billion and €25.6 billion. Within the most stressed case, Spain’s three main banks would have enough resources of their own to face difficulties and would not need any additional funding. They are the Barcelona-based CaixaBank and the two international giants BBVA and Banco Santander.

The Catalan Government had a €42 billion debt at the end of March but its increase significantly slows down

June 16, 2012 01:01 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government’s debt represents 21% of Catalonia’s GDP, and it is in charge of almost half of public spending and manages healthcare, education and other basic services. Catalonia’s debt continues to increase because of the public deficit, but slows down its growth significantly. Over the first quarter of 2012, the Catalan Government’s debt increased by €222 million, while it had grown by €2.34 billion over the same period in 2011. With this last increase, the Catalan Government’s debt reached €42 billion at the end of March 2012.

CatalunyaCaixa would need an additional €4.5 billion to meet the last financial requirements

June 8, 2012 01:17 AM | CNA

According to the Bank of Spain’s Deputy Governor, the Catalan bank would need an additional amount of €4.5 billion to meet the capital requirements of the last decree approved by the Spanish Government. Before this announcement, the Spanish State had already allocated €2.97 billion to rescue CatalunyaCaixa. Novagalicia would also need €4.5 billion. Combined, these €9 billion are to be added to the €19 billion for Bankia. The Spanish Government refuses to give the total figure required by the entire banking system, as it waits for the independent audit’s results. However, the IMF leaked that Spanish banks might need €40 billion.

Catalan parties meet to discuss a new fiscal agreement with Spain

May 31, 2012 01:59 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The President of the Catalan Government has organised a summit with all the parties at the Catalan Parliament to discuss a new fiscal scheme for Catalonia. According to official studies, Catalonia gives 8.5% of its GDP each year to pay for investments and services in the rest of Spain, an amount that represents more than €17 billion per year. Some parties state that the current model is unsustainable for Catalonia and represents a plundering of its finances. Others have a more moderate opinion. Nonetheless, all political parties in Catalonia now believe that this amount is excessive and that the fiscal scheme between Catalonia and the rest of Spain should be reviewed. However, they significantly disagree on the formula and the timing.

Banc Sabadell earns €80 million in the first quarter of 2012 after reaching a solvency rate of 11.88%

April 27, 2012 12:17 AM | CNA

During the first quarter of the year, the Catalan bank placed €293 million in provisions to strengthen its financial position. Despite the provision, Banc Sabadell had a net profit of €80 million in the first 3 months of 2012, which represents a 5% decrease when compared to the same period last year. The CEO of Banc Sabadell said that creating a “bad bank” in Spain to manage real estate assets is “unnecessary”, as the Catalan bank is “self-sufficient” and is “satisfied” with the management of its own real estate assets.

The Catalan President threatens early elections if the Spanish Government intervened in Catalonia

April 24, 2012 01:08 AM | CNA

In an interview with the Catalan Public Television Broadcaster, the Catalan President and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) recognised that the Spanish Government could intervene the Catalan Government. “It could happen, I won't deny it”, he said. Furthermore, he warned that “the mistrust level will be very high” if the Spanish Government does not pay the money it owes the Catalan Executive. Mas said that “if Madrid wants to intervene Catalonia’s self-government”, he would call early elections. In addition, he said that further budget cuts will be needed.

Catalan Government and town halls will pay € 2.79 billion in pending bills from 2011

April 17, 2012 11:30 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government and many town halls throughout Catalonia have applied for credit funds facilitated by the Spanish Government to clear out all their arrears from 2011. The Spanish Government, together with several banks, have put €35 billion on the table for long-term credits for the Autonomies and municipalities to get rid of all their arrears with suppliers. The credit is to be returned in 10 years time, and they have to make no payments in the first two years. The Catalan Government presented 268,489 bills totalling €1.98 billion, corresponding to all its services as well as public companies and agencies. They represent 11.48% from the total €17.26 billion applied by the Autonomies.