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Spain recorded the highest EU-wide deficit in 2017 despite meeting the target

Eurostat confirms that the government achieved the agreement with Brussels and places the deficit in 3.1%

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Spain recorded the highest EU-wide deficit in 2017 despite meeting the target

Despite fact that European Statistical Agency has confirmed that Spain complied in 2017 with deficit imposed by Brussels, information it offers is slightly higher than that of government, since it rounds its figures to a decimal. Thus, Eurostat puts it at 3.1%, which is equivalent to 36,233,000,000 euros. The figure is slightly higher than that calculated by Spanish government itself which fixes it in 3.07% of GDP, which is equivalent to 35,758,000,000 euros, lowest level of last 10 years and 25.5% less than in 2016. The target for 2018 is 2.2% of GDP.

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According to first preliminary estimate of Community agency, made from data provided by Member States, countries with most deficit registered are Spain with 3.1% of GDP, followed by Portugal, with 3% (5.709 billion euros); Romania, with 2.9% (25,018,000,000 euros); France with 2.6% of GDP corresponding to 59,341,000,000; And Italy with 2.3% (39,691,000,000 euros). On contrary, countries that registered largest budget surplus were Malta, with 3.9%, which corresponds to 437 million euros; Cyprus, 1.8% (344 million); And Czech Republic, with 1.6% of GDP (80,621,000,000).

On or hand, euro zone deficit stood at 0.9% (98,925,000,000 euros), below 1.5% in 2016. For its part, that of European Union in 1% of GDP, which is equivalent to 146,589,000,000. Thus, in 2017 Spain tripled deficit of group of partners.

The Spanish executive explained in March when he presented data that, once incorporated 475 million euros of aid to financial institutions, deficit figure amounts to 36,233,000,000, 3.11% of GDP and same amount that Eurostat collects. Therefore, budgetary deviation is still above 3%, a threshold from which countries are subjected to excessive deficit procedure, which consists of a detailed control of public accounts by Europe. The European Commission will announce in May if it recommends taking Spain out of this procedure.

Debt to 98.3%

As for public debt, in Spain reached 1.144 trillion euros in 2017 and represented 98.3% of GDP, seven tenths below figure of 2016, when it was of 99%. These data coincide with those published in March by Bank of Spain and are located 2 tenths above that agreed with European Commission, so Spain has not complied with agreed debt of 98.1%. At first Ministry of Economy had stated in February that it had managed to adjust debt to 98.08%, so it remained just in environment of 98.1% committed to Brussels. However, figures of Bank of Spain, and now those of Eurostat, place it at 98.3%.

Spain thus registers fifth largest percentage of European Union and lies behind Greece, which has a 178.6% debt relative to GDP; Italy, with 131.8%; Portugal, with 125.7%; And Belgium, with 103.1%. In European Union as a whole, public debt stood at 81.6% (12,504,000,000,000 euros), compared to 83.3% of 2016, while eurozone closed in 86.7% (9.685 trillion), 2.3 points below previous year.

Spain complies: We have reduced public deficit from 2017 to 3 ' 07% (4 ' 3% in 2016). A fundamental fact to keep growing, creating jobs and guaranteeing our public services. Mr

— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) March 22, 2018

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