Spain: Municipality of Madrid has highest debt

15 March, 16:40

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, MARCH 15 - The municipality with the highest debt in Spain is Madrid, with 1.035 billion euros in pending payments to suppliers of goods and services. Looking at the debt per head, Madrid is surpassed by Peleas de Abaco (Castile and Leon), with 241 inhabitants and a debt of 4.6 million euros.

This emerged a few hours before the expiration of the deadline set by the government for local bodies, which have to inform the finance ministry of their debt situation on December 31 2001.

Doing so, allows these local governments to participate in the 35 billion euro loan programme that was launched last week, so that they can pay off their creditors. The 35 billion euros will be allocated in the form of a 10-year loan with a fixed interest rate of close to 5% for two years. The mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, has said that the municipality's pending debts total 920 million euros, plus 115 million which the municipality owes to state-owned companies.

The other Spanish metropolis, Barcelona, has a debt of 1.147 billion, but it will not make use of the government loan, because its debt was not caused by a lack of cash but by technical problems with invoices. More than 400 million euros in debts to SMEs and freelance consultants were presented by the municipality of Jerez de la Frintera (Cadiz), twice as much as Valencia (180 million) and Saragossa (183 million). Only 20 of the 8,114 Spanish municipalities have debts for 2.776 million euros.

Peleas de Abaco, a town in the province of Zamora with 241 inhabitants, has unpaid bills for 600,000 euros and a total debt of 4.6 million euros, equal to 19,000 euros per inhabitant, ten times more than people living in Madrid.

(ANSAmed) YK8
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