1902 Encyclopedia > Spain > Spain - Finance. Currency, Weights and Measures.

(Part 16)


Spain - Finance. Currency, Weights and Measures.

Finance.—The following statement (Table XI.) shows the equivalent in English money of the budget estimates for the years noted ; it should be explained, however, that these estimates have only a limited value, inasmuch as the public accounts of Spain have not been audited since 1870, and have not been passed by the cortes since 1867 :—

== TABLE ==

The chief heads of revenue, according to the budget estimates of 1885-86, were—excise (including stamp duties and government monopolies), £10,534,480; direct taxes on land, trade, mines, &c, £10,393,020 ; taxes on Government salaries, registration, &c., £5,362,000 ; customs, £5,360,000. The chief items of expenditure were—the charges of the public debt, £10,966,937; the charges of the ministry of war, £6,050,944 ; those connected with the administration of state property, £5,748,593; the charges belonging to the ministerio de fomento, £4,177,983; those of grace and justice, £2,237,844; those of marine, £1,756,022.

The expenses of quelling the insurrection in Cuba of 1868-78, and those subsequently arising out of a civil war in the Peninsula, raised the total amount of the Spanish debt on the 1st of January 1881 to about £512,000,000; but, as it was by that time manifest that Spain was unable to meet the obligations thus incurred, an arrangement was come to by which the capital and interest of the debt were reduced. The bulk of the debt now bears interest at the rate of 4 per cent., and on the 1st of October 1884 the capital stood at 6356 million pesetas, or £254,250,000, and the total annual charge was 238 million pesetas, or £9,522,857. The principal items are the perpetual foreign debt, amounting in October 1884 to £78,840,000, a perpetual internal debt, amounting in October 1884 to £77,840,000, and a redeemable debt (internal and external) amounting to £70,480,000.

Currency, Weights, and Measures.—The French monetary system and the metric system of weights and measures have been introduced—the latter in 1859, the former in 1871. In the case of the weights and measures the French names also have been adopted, with only the necessary linguistic changes. In the case of the currency the old Spanish name of peseta was retained for the unit (the franc), and the peseta is divided into 100 centimos. According to the present value of the peseta, therefore, 25 pesetas may be taken as about equal to £1. Previously to the introduction of the French monetary system the peseta was the fifth part of a peso duro, which was equal to 20 reales de vellon, or rather more than a five-franc piece. The only paper money in Spain consists of the notes of the Banco de España.

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