CATALUÑA’S regional authority owes the Spanish treasury €57.5 billion, €4.5 billion more than a year ago and the highest debt of the country’s autonomous communities according to government data.
Almost three quarters of the Catalan Generalitat was borrowed from the Spanish government’s Autonomous Liquidity Fund (ALF).
The fund was created in July 2012 during the eurozone debt crisis to help Spain’s Autonomous Communities plug gaps in their books without having to borrow from financial markets.
Cataluña’s debts to the fund grew from more than €53 billion on September 30 2017 to more than €57.5 billion a year later, according to the latest treasury data.
The figures come as the Generalitat announced plans to begin borrowing from the government’s Financial Facility Fund (FFF) and to cease borrowing from ALF.
The authority has still requested more than €6.7 billion from the ALF but plans to borrow between €8 and €8.5 billion from the FFF, according to documents prepared for investors.
The FFF allows regional authorities to borrow from the state but gives them less control over the money loaned.
Pere Aragones, the Generalitat’s finance spokesperson, said the move was an important step towards getting the region’s finances in order.