Palma.—Finance and Business Promotion Minister, Josep Ignasi Aguilo (pictured above left with Balearic President Jose Ramon Bauza) was upbeat yesterday about public deficit figures for the second quarter of this year, claiming that they were one of the lowest in Spain for the period.

But Aguilo urged caution and said it was necessary to continue working to bring down public spending. Ultimately, he wants the deficit to decrease to 1.5 percent of gross regional product (PIB) for the whole of the year.

However, despite Aguiló's optimism, at the end of June, public debt in the Balearics stood at 4'673 million euros, 4.31 percent higher than at the end of the first quarter in March, confirmed the Bank of Spain.

The debt of the Balearic government to banks and other financial organisations represents 17.5 percent of PIB, an historic high.
Although debt had increased by a further 193 million euros by the end of the second quarter this year, Aguiló gave assurances yesterday that the Balearics “is within the limits imposed by Central Government and that the region is complying with its objectives.” Indeed, in relative terms, the Balearic debt is lower than that registered in Catalonia where public deficit is running at 22% of PIB, in Valencia (20.8% of PIB), and Castilla-La Mancha (18%).

Aguiló said however that the second half of the year is going to be “more complicated” because the deficit figure will rise. He still felt convinced that the Balearics will stay within the fixed limit of 1.5%.