Spain Approves New Measures to Cut Deficit

Madrid, Aug 19 (Prensa Latina) Spain approved new measures on Friday to boost the economy and keep its commitment to reduce the budget deficit by six percent of its GDP this year.

The government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero gave green light to a plan of austerity and incentives, similar to the plan it adopted last year to meet the goal it promised to the EU.

The new measures confirmed in the weekly Council of Ministers meeting today include is early collection of business taxes for large companies, and new spending cuts on pharmaceuticals.

Public Works Minister Jose Blanco urged doctors and patients to increase their use of generic medicine.

The government calculates that early tax collection will raise an additional 2.5 billion euros and obligated use of generic medicine will save another 2.4 billion.

The administration also decided to temporarily lower taxes on new properties to try to reactivate the construction sector, formerly a driving force for growth and employment in Spain.

The added value tax for buying new homes would be lowered from eight to four percent until Dec. 31, Blanco said.

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