Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said Tuesday he would raise the corporate tax rate to significantly increase revenue as part of the country's deficit reduction measures to comply with European Union rules.
De Guindos said this reform would raise revenue by around 6 billion euros ($6.66 billion), which, coupled with 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion) in savings from debt interest payments and the implementation of stricter measures to fight against tax fraud, would significantly reduce Spain's deficit.
Spain will present these arguments before the European Union, which Tuesday launched a process to sanction Spain and Portugal for failing to reach agreed deficit targets.
Spain will also defend the deficit-reducing efforts undertaken in the past few years, as well as the cleaning up of the banking sector (which included a 41-billion-euro bank bailout) and the steady growth of the Spanish economy.
EU member states confirmed Spain and Portugal had not reached their agreed deficit targets last year and would not be able to meet next year's targets, calling the fiscal efforts of both governments during 2015 "significantly lower than agreed."
The fines both countries now face could amount up to 0.2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product, which in the case of Spain would be 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion).
"It would be a paradox for the best-performing economy in such times of global and national uncertainty to receive a fine; I'm convinced it will not happen," the acting finance minister declared.