Small, medium businesses to receive EUR 14 billion

27th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Spanish government will provide aid to small- and medium-sized businesses hit hard by the economic crisis.

MADRID – The Spanish government Friday announced it has released EUR 14 billion to help small- and medium-sized businesses that have been hard hit by the economic crisis.

The cabinet approved EUR 11 billion to cover unpaid bills received by municipalities for public works contracts, Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told a news conference.

The government, through the state credit agency Instituto Credito Oficial, will also provide EUR 3 billion in credit guarantees for small and medium-sized companies to cover services to local authorities.

Local authorities have been badly hit by the crisis and many are facing liquidity problems.

The measures are in addition to an EUR-11-billion stimulus package announced in November to create 300,000 jobs, aimed mainly at public works projects.

The Spanish economy entered into its first recession in 15 years at the end of 2008 as the global financial crisis accelerated a downturn that was already underway in its once-buoyant property sector.

The government announcement on Friday came as the National Statistics Institute (INE) said the unemployment rate had soared to 17.36 percent in the first quarter and the number of jobless almost doubled over the past year to cross the four-million mark.

AFP / Expatica

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