By Simon Miller
The Spanish central government is to make it a criminal offence for public officials to run up unauthorised debt.
As the government sets out an €8bn (£6.6bn) transfer for its debt-ladened regions, its budget minister Cristobel Montoro said officials would not be allowed to run over set budgets.
" We are going to demand criminal responsibilities - criminal in the sense that a public manager, who could be a politician or a manager appointed by a politician, cannot spend more than the budget limit. A government official falsifying public accounts in the same way that a private manager has to face criminal responsibilities if he falsifies his company accounts, especially if it is listed," said Montoro.
The stringent changes comes as the central government gets ready give the cash-strapped regions €8bn six months early as well as other lquid measures to east pressure.
It will also offer loans via the Official Credit Institute to help regions settle bills for suppliers in a couple of months.
“We are submitting these mechanisms on the condition that the regions present fiscally viable plans,” said Montoro.