The European Union could help settle a long-running spending dispute between the central government and the regions if it used its beefed-up budget powers to send a new team of inspectors to Spain, according to Catalonia’s vice president, Oriol Junqueras.
Junqueras, who oversees budget policy in Catalonia, said that European officials should intervene in the national budgeting process because the central government’s decisions are “arbitrary, inefficient and unjust” while ignoring EU guidance. The European Commission is considering whether to impose sanctions and increase oversight on Spain after Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy breached the country’s deficit limit for a fourth straight year.
The Catalan finance chief said that Rajoy has struggled to tame the national deficit in part because he imposed unrealistic targets on the regions and that an EU intervention could help to resolve the problem before it escalated.
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