SPAIN (Agencies) It has been in local, national and international headlines for weeks: Spain's municipalities owe vast sums, mainly to small local businesses. Every single municipality in the Campo de Gibraltar is in debt, with more 'black holes' appearing by the minute after new Councils take over from their predecessors. Political colours make no difference. Last Tuesday, Zapatero announced a wide range of economic and social measures during the State of the Nation debate in Parliament. They were approved by the Cabinet on Friday. Among other things such as helping small business in general, a spending ceiling for the regional governments and more protection for mortgage holders who face having their homes seized for non-payment, the Cabinet also authorized the Official Credit Institute (ICO) to help municipalities pay small businesses that work for them in an effort to relieve municipal debt. The institute will pay small businesses and self-employed people who have pending bills in Town Halls before April 31st this year. First in line are small businesses with less than 250 employees. Payment will be made directly through cooperating banks because the method is simpler.