Marc Pons, government spokesperson and minister for the presidency. | CAIB

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The Balearic Government has rounded on the national finance minister (acting), Cristóbal Montoro, for having threatened the Balearics with sanctions over its Deficit issues.

Montoro today (Friday) issued a serious warning to the Balearic government regarding its deficit for 2015. The national government will take sanctions if the 1.52% deficit is not corrected, while it will also be paying particular attention to the 2016 budget and how it is to be implemented.

Montoro was presenting information regarding deficit non-compliance. He observed that the average for the regions of Spain was 1.66% and the state had deviated by 2.7%.

Sanctions that could be applied include not forwarding payment that falls due each quarter under the FLA (autonomous liquidity fund) mechanism, which is worth more than 900 million euros this year. This financing means that the Balearic government can escape having to incur some bank interest, but without the 900 million it would be unable to meet its budgetary obligations for 2016. As it has breached the 2015 deficit, the regional government must now submit an adjustment plan.

Montoro was highly critical of the Catalonia and Valencia governments but also made references to the Balearics when speaking about governments "of consensus". "It would seem that they do no more than make announcements about spending, and this is harmful to economic recovery."

Responding to what Montoro had to say, the regional finance minister, Catalina Cladera, said that the "caretaker government" should not be daring to speak in this way. She added that when it comes to deficit distribution, the national ministry has always left the regions with very little margin, despite the regions being the ones which have to manage areas that require more spending, such as health education and social services.

The regions, she argued, cannot be blamed for failing to meet deficit demands when the state keeps the largest deficit for itself. It is "intolerable", she concluded, that an acting minister should launch such an attack on the regions.

Balearic government spokesperson, Marc Pons, had his say as well, accusing Montoro of "being a bad loser and simply looking for excuses for his failures and ways to lay the blame with others".