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Monday, June 6, 2011

‘Bankrupt’ claim heightens Spanish debt fears

The central Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha is “totally bankrupt”, according to the incoming administration of the rightwing Popular party (PP), an accusation that will deepen concerns about Spain’s budget deficit.

The claim has prompted angry denials from the Socialist government.

Spain’s 17 autonomous regions and its more than 8,000 municipalities, with €150bn ($220bn) of accumulated debt between them, have become the latest worry for investors in Spain and its sovereign bonds.

Catalonia, an economy the size of Portugal, says its deficit will be double the target.

Vicente Tirado, a senior PP politician in Castilla-La Mancha, said the region was “totally bankrupt”; owed suppliers such as pharmaceutical companies that provide drugs for hospitals a total of €2bn in unpaid bills; and would have trouble finding the money to pay the region’s 76,000 civil servants next month.

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