VALENCIA, autonomous region in Spain named after its capital city.

FINANCE

‘The PP governed the [Valencia] region from 1995 until 2015 and pursued a grandiose dream of turning it into a Spanish Florida. It brought in Formula 1 motor racing and America’s Cup sailing, and invested billions in the City of Arts and Sciences, a controversial complex of fantasy buildings designed by Santiago Calatrava, a local boy who became a famous architect. Elsewhere in the region, it spent €265m ($310) on film studios in Alicante which were subsequently closed down because they violated European law on public subsidies. In Castellón it spent €150m on an international airport with only a small handful of flights every day. Several of the PP’s regional leaders are in jail for corruption and others face trial. Ximo Puig, a Socialist who won office as head of a left-wing coalition in 2015, is picking up the pieces. The Valencian community was “a paradigm of waste and corruption during the great property bubble”, he says. “Now we are in a process of recovery, above all of our reputation.” But that recovery is not helped by Spain’s regional financing system, under which Valencia fares badly. Given the size of its population, it should have received an extra €1.3bn a year since 2000, says Mr Puig. He has been pushing for the system to be overhauled, but this is unlikely to happen before the next election,’ (‘Unfair shares,’ article in The Economist Special Report Spain, July 28th 2018, p5).