Debt of the 75,098 that the Generalitat accumulates, that is, two-thirds of the total (66.6%), according to data from the Bank of Spain consulted by Efe.
These data, corresponding to the end of 2016, the latest available, reveal that the State has already exceeded the threshold of 50,000 million euros and that the proportion of debt of the Generalitat in the hands of the State continues to grow, something logical because the Generalitat continues to be financed thanks to the Autonomic Liquidity Fund (FLA).
In addition, Catalonia has loans in force with national financial institutions – both short and long-term – worth 8,849 million euros and loans from foreign entities for another 6,147 million.
Likewise, the Generalitat also has outstanding debt amounting to 5,719 million euros.
The Catalan government foresees that at the end of 2017 its debt will be placed at 77,495 million euros, as recorded in this year’s budgets, and for this year it has borrowed a total of 7,345 million euros from the FLA.
Although the debt will increase in 2017 in a much smaller proportion than in other years, the peso of the FLA will continue to increase, given that this mechanism will be responsible for various debt maturities foreseen for this year, although the Government has not made estimates about the percentage of its debt that will remain in the hands of the State at the end of 2017.
Since the FLA was launched, in 2012, the percentage of debt of the Generalitat in the hands of the State has been increasing progressively.
In 2012 it was 16.58%; the following year, 37.34%; at the end of 2014 it stood at 49.35%; in 2015, at 59.97% and in 2016, 62.81%.
In recent months, both the Government and the communities have begun to open the debate about the future of the FLA as a mechanism for providing liquidity to the communities and the debt associated with it.
The Valencian Community, for example, is one of those that has pronounced itself most clearly in favor of the State forgiving a percentage of the accumulated debt.
This week, the Secretary of State for Budgets, Alberto Nadal, said in Barcelona that the FLA is an emergency measure created during the crisis and that it should return “to normal” when the public deficit is eliminated.
Nadal affirmed that the communities will be in budget balance in 2019 and that the State is expected to achieve it by 2020, although it did not specify until when the FLA will be in force.
For its part, the Catalan executive assumes that the FLA will not last forever and has already begun to probe investors about how they would welcome a return of Catalonia to the markets.
In this line, the vice president of the Government, Oriol Junqueras, recently traveled to the US to listen to the opinion of holders and debt holders before the hypothesis that Catalonia could re-issue debt, a decision that, with the current political framework, requires the authorization of the Spanish Government.