This month Bibao town hall, will become debt free making it the only Spanish city not in debt. According to the mayor of Bilbao, Iñaki Azkuna, the town hall will make its final payment to clear the 207 million euro debt it had accummulated in 1998 when the current team running the town hall took over.
Speaking at a press conference the mayor said that the team working at the town hall had made a massive effort towards reducing the town hall’s debt and insisted on the need for economic prudence for the future given the uncertainty in the global economy.
Azkuna also said that the town hall had closed its accounts for 2010 without having to incur debts of 22 million euros included in its budget for 2010.
According to Azkuna this was possible due to an increase in the money received by the town hall which accounted for 101.01% of the initial budget at the same time as reducing costs which were 93.98% of those originally budgeted for.
Azkuna said that he was very pleased by the results and pointed out that some corporations are unable to pay their workers salaries.
However he said that it would be necessary to maintain a tight budget in the future and keep austerity measures in place.
Finally Azkuna said that he hoped that the years of going over budget were at an end because now was not the time to commit to large-scale projects but to continue to balance the books – something which his town hall had done during the years of economic growth.