News Column

Spain Won't Ask for ECB Aid: Economy Minister

Dec. 27, 2012
Spain
Spain's Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos.

The Spanish government has decided not to ask for the European Central Bank (ECB) aid "nowadays", Minister of Economy and Competitiveness Luis de Guindos said on Wednesday.

De Guindos told the Spanish radio ABC Punto Radio in an interview that "nowadays the government had decided not to ask the financial assistance that would imply the ECB's intervention."

In this sense, he did not rule out the possibility in the future although he assured Spain does not need a bailout.

In his opinion, "Spain needs doubts over the euro's future to disappear", only in this case, the Spanish risk premium would fall and "these would be good news", said the minister.

De Guindos assured that the government will take the most suitable decision according to Spain's interests, because "the government interest is the Spanish economy interest."

He also insisted that in case of asking for assistance, "this would be not the same way as Portugal or Ireland."

De Guindos pointed out the ECB would intervene Spain's debt market in order to reduce funding costs, something the ECB already did in 2011 because the body had bought Spanish debt between August and December 2011.

Asked about the deficit target, De Guindos avoided to assure Spain would meet this deficit but insisted "the most important is that Europe says Spain has taken the necessary measures in order to correct the fiscal situation."

He added that in 2013 "Spain will carry out one of the most intense deficit reductions and budgetary adjustments among countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)."

The minister praised his government's policies, arguing they aim at "improving economic growth and create employment" and emphasizing that despite bad data (Spain has almost five million people unemployed), they are "laying the ground for the future economic recovery."

Meanwhile, the Spanish stock market in Madrid remained closed because of Christmas holidays since last Monday when the risk premium remained below the 400 points falling from 389 points in early trading to the 393 points by closing time.

Also in Madrid, workers from the health and transport sector continued strikes.

Wednesday is the 16th day of strike in the public health sector in Madrid against the new measures adopted by the regional government, which according to strikers, would lead to the privatization of six hospitals and 27 clinic centers.

On the other hand, workers of Madrid's underground are called to protest against the cuts in the 14th partial strike that will last until New Year's Eve.





Source: Copyright Xinhua News Agency - CEIS 2012


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