Photo: Spanish economy
Spain’s government on Friday approved a new 11-billion-euro ($15 billion) plan featuring 40 measures to spur growth, competitiveness and efficiency.
Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said in a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting that besides the 6.3-billion-euro package announced six days ago by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the plan will involve an additional 4.4 billion euros in credit measures, including an increase in loans issued by the ICO state-owned bank.
She also explained that ICO will have a 25-billion-euro loan target in 2015, up 25 percent from 2014 and 80 percent higher than in 2013.
In addition, the deputy premier announced a 175-million-euro outlay for the continuation of an efficient vehicles incentives plan and said 755 million euros will be earmarked to improve the competitiveness of the different industrial sectors.
Saenz de Santamaria said the stimulus is part of the third pillar of the government’s national reform program, following efforts to achieve fiscal consolidation and clean up balance sheets in the financial sector.
In that regard, she said now is the time for structural reforms to improve the functioning of markets, promote efficiency and recover competitiveness in Spain, where the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at nearly 26 percent.
The deputy prime minister said the plan has seven main objectives, including increasing loans to the productive sector, improving financing regulation and restructuring corporate debt.
It also seeks to boost growth in an environmentally friendly manner, prioritize energy savings, and promote the internationalization of Spain’s economy, among other things, she said.
Rajoy said in announcing the plan last Saturday that it would involve total investment of 6.3 billion euros (some $8.6 billion), with 2.67 billion euros coming from the private sector and the rest from the public sector.
As part of the stimulus, the corporate tax rate will be cut from 30 percent to 25 percent, he told a business forum in the northeastern town of Sitges.