EC starts process to fine Spain for excessive public deficit

July 7, 2016 06:59 PM | ACN

Spain’s effort to reduce its public deficit “has been insufficient”, according to Brussels. Thus, the European Commission (EC) took this Thursday the first step in order to fine Spain, ahead of the Ecofin meeting. The fining process foresees that 20 days after this meeting, the EC could present the suggested fine, which could equal 0.2% of Spain’s GDP. According to a report released this Thursday by the EC, Spain closed 2015 with a 5.1% deficit target, far from the 4.2% established by Brussels. The report concludes that Spain’s fiscal effort fell “significantly short” of what was recommended and even “relaxed in 2015”. “Spain did not reach the intermediate target for the headline deficit in 2015 and is not forecast to put an end to its excessive deficit by 2016”. 

Extending Spain’s deficit time frame is illegal, according to European Council lawyers

June 4, 2016 01:55 PM | ACN

A year’s extension for Spain on its allotted time to meet the public deficit target has been deemed illegal by the lawyers at the European Council. This ruling comes after current Spanish President Mariano Rajoy sent a letter asking for an extension to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. A legal report to the Council was commissioned by the presidency of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin), after Germany’s complaints of having saved Mariano Rajoy from a sanction during the Spanish electoral campaign. However, the Ministers of Economy and Finance of the EU will not be able to approve this extra year until the European Commission decides whether or not it is punishable by a fine of up to 2 billion euros due to breach of the public deficit target. Despite the ruling, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría has stated that there is “no doubt” that no fine will be issued for missing the deficit in 2015.

Catalan and Spanish vice presidents meet amid controversy over the recent suspension of several Catalan laws

April 28, 2016 06:27 PM | ACN

Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras met this Thursday with his Spanish counterpart Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría in what Junqueras described as a “very cordial but very difficult” encounter. One of the main subjects laid on the table revolved around the recent suspension of several Catalan laws by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). In reference to this, Junqueras accused the TC of acting according to “political interests” rather than considering those of the citizens and asked Sáenz de Santamaría to reconsider the suspension of the Catalan law against energy poverty, as they announced a few weeks ago. Junqueras regretted that the Spanish executive is only temporary “when it is in their interest”. Junqueras, who is also Catalan Minister for Economy and Tax Office, also referred to Catalonia’s deficit target set by the Spanish government and described it as “unfair, arbitrary and far from what citizens deserve”.