• Spain's news in English
EU moves closer to fining Spain for 2015 overspend
Spanish Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro. File photo: AFP

EU moves closer to fining Spain for 2015 overspend

AFP/The Local · 7 Jul 2016, 16:14

Published: 07 Jul 2016 16:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"The Commission confirms that Spain and Portugal will not correct their excessive deficits by the recommended deadline," the EU's executive arm said in a statement.

If endorsed by the EU's finance ministers, the commission is then legally obliged to propose fines against the two neighbouring countries, which were both hit hard by the financial crisis.

"Lately, the two countries have veered off track in the correction of their excessive deficits and have not met their budgetary targets," said Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU Commission's vice-president in charge of the euro.

In 2015, Spain's deficit amounted to 5.0 percent of GDP and Portugal's 4.4 percent.

Under EU rules, member states are not allowed to run up deficits in excess of 3.0 percent of GDP.

"We stand ready to work together with the Spanish and Portuguese authorities to define the best path ahead," Dombrovskis said.

Many EU powers led by Germany have long hoped for the commission to finally crack down on public overspenders, but with populist fires burning after the Brexit vote, ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday could decide to delay their immediate endorsement.

"There is uncertainty creeping in light of the UK vote result," an EU diplomat told AFP.

Story continues below…

France and Italy will be the most willing to delay the penalty process, fearing that their own years of EU rule breaking would put them next in line for a sanction by Brussels.

Ahead of the commission announcement, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa warned that Brussels would foster a rise in euroscepticism in Portugal if EU sanctions are applied.

In a letter to the European Commission, Costa cited "the results of the UK referendum and its impact on the European Union" as reasons why the Commission should refrain from full implementation of the rules.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available