The pandemic caused a hole of 12,300 million in the Spanish cities and regions in 2020

The autonomous communities and the municipalities of Spain suffered a hole in their public accounts of 12,300 million euros by 2020 due to the increase in spend

The pandemic caused a hole of 12,300 million in the Spanish cities and regions in 2020

The autonomous communities and the municipalities of Spain suffered a hole in their public accounts of 12,300 million euros by 2020 due to the increase in spending to cope with the disease and falling income, according to the annual barometer that has published this Tuesday European Committee of the Regions.

Thus, the regional and local authorities of Spain were the third ones most affected in absolute terms by this phenomenon, with a deficit in their public accounts of 12,300 million euros, behind Germany (111,000 million) and Italy (22,700 million).

If the size of the losses as a percentage of the total income is taken into account, the most affected Member States were Cyprus (25% less), Bulgaria (15.3% less) and Luxembourg (13.5% less).

Global, this 'scissor effect' generated losses in local regions and entities throughout the EU of approximately 180,000 million euros. Most, about 125,000 million euros, is explained by the increase in public spending to deal with the pandemic, while revenues fell by 55,000 million as a result of the lower economic activity.

The barometer prepared by the European Committee of the Regions also points out that 130,000 million euros of these losses were supported by the regional and intermediate levels, as well as the municipal corporations assumed the other 50,000 million.

"We must act effectively, the budgetary stability of regional and local authorities must be restored and fiscal autonomy should be extended, so that we can invest in the specific needs of people and not in a descending way," the President of the Agency claimed , Apostolos Tzitzikostas, in the presentation of the report.

In the same line, the study remarks that eight Spanish communities (Catalonia, Balearic, Valencian Community, Murcia, Extremadura, Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha and Canary Islands) are among the European regions more likely to suffer a negative economic impact on the environment term, according to the criteria included in the barometer (such as the weight of the tourism sector, culture, hospitality, or young people without work).

On the other hand, the study reveals that the gap between the field and the city "can endanger the recovery", so it is "urgent to support digital cohesion". In fact, the text emphasizes the "huge gap" between local and regional entities "that are already able to take advantage of all the potential of digital transformation" and "those others who are not yet fully digitized".

The difference between the field and the city regarding the percentage of people who use the Internet daily, continues the barometer, is "especially high" in Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Portugal. In contrast, the largest digital cohesion of the EU can be observed in Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

In the same sense, the European Committee of Regions emphasizes that current efforts "are still insufficient" because the digital divide between urban and rural areas "is only reduced in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium" and "remains Significant in all other Member States ".

Another aspect that addresses the barometer are the "deep differences" in the consequences of the pandemic. In this area, the Community of Madrid was the EU region with a greater percentage of mortality by 2020 compared to the average death of the four previous years (44%).

Three other Spanish communities are located on the list of ten European regions with greater excess mortality in 2020: Castilla-La Mancha, third with 34%; Castilla y León, in sixth place with 29%; and Catalonia, in eighth place with 27%.

Updated Date: 15 October 2021, 04:54

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