Murcia to seek Spanish funds

Tiny Murcia was on course yesterday to be the second Spanish region to request help from the central government to keep it afloat, as media reported half a dozen local authorities were ready to follow in the footsteps of Valencia. How Spain’s 17 indebted autonomous regions, locked out of international debt markets, refinance €36bn in debt this year has been a major source of concern for investors ever since they missed deficit targets last year. Spain’s central government set up an €18bn fund earlier this month to ease their funding pain. Asked in a Q&A newspaper interview whether Murcia planned to tap the fund created, the head of the local government, Ramon Luis Valcarcel, answered “of course”, and added that he hoped it would be available for September.