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Catalan aid will come with no political strings, says official

Economy commissioner says other factors are negotiable

Clara Blanchar

Catalonia will "never accept any political conditions" in exchange for the aid it hopes to receive from the central government to deal with its liquidity problems, the region's top economic official said Thursday.

Andreu Mas-Colell, the Catalan economy commissioner, said the region was willing to negotiate such things as interest rates and the sharing of audits after it taps into the regional stability fund (FLA), the mechanism the Rajoy administration will use to help troubled regions pay their bills. Catalonia joined Murcia and Valencia in applying for FLA aid.

It is not known how much Catalonia will need, but Valencia has said it will request more than two billion euros while Murcia wants 300 million.

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