Madrid/Palma.—Spain's government is considering extending a car-buying subsidy programme introduced last year to stimulate a flagging market hit by recession and a September tax hike, Energy, Industry and Tourism Minister Jose Maria Soria said yesterday. “The plan we have in place now has been a success and the government is studying extending it. But first we will need to find the necessary resources for it,” Soria said at a news conference in Madrid.

New car registrations fell 13 percent in 2012 in Spain, where one in four of the workforce is jobless and consumer confidence has plummeted in the face of harsh austerity measures and economic uncertainty.

The government's new car subsidy scheme introduced on October 1 made the slide in car sales less marked than expected after a hike in value-added tax on September 1.

However, new car registrations in December dropped 23 percent in Spain, far steeper than the European Union average of 16 percent.


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