Madrid.—Balearic debt at the end of the third quarter, the Bank of Spain reported yesterday, reached 4'501 million euros, 16.4% of gross regional product (PIB). The figures mean that the Balearic Islands is the ninth most indebted region in Spain and the fourth highest in terms of its debt as a percentage of its economy. Balearic debt was 3.3 percent of the national debt (135'151 million euros)at the end of the third quarter, said the Bank of Spain. However, the figure is 1.3 percent less (-59 million euros) than at the end of the second quarter.

The Bank's report showed that despite the 11.8 percent increase in debt in the Balearics in the third quarter this year, it is not as great as the national debt increase which went up by 22% during the same period to 12.6% of gross national product, the highest ever.

Research showed that since 1995, regional debt hasn't stopped growing, repeatedly breaking its own records. The trend flies in the face of both national and regional commitment to spending controls in recent years. The combined total of central and regional government debt now stands at 706'340 million euros, or 66% of PIB.

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