The Spanish government has guaranteed a total of up to EUR 165 million in "non-refundable" subsidies to the GSMA in order to ensure that the Mobile World Congress remains in Barcelona until at least 2023, according to unnamed sources cited by El Mundo. The figure covers the years 2011 to 2023, with the Spanish state, the city of Barcelona and the regional Catalan government (Generalitat) contributing in equal parts, according telecompaper.com. The government also promised the GSMA that companies contributing to the organisation of the event, including Telefonica, would enjoy "the maximum fiscal benefits", said the report.
The GSMA last year issued a statement suggesting that the uncertainty arising from the Catalan government’s push for independence from Spain could affect its agreement to keep the MWC in Barcelona until 2023. Subsequent reports said cities such as Dubai, Munich and Paris have offered to host the event, which contributes well over EUR 400 million a year to the local economy.