Britain and Spain urge Europe economic reform

2nd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain and Spain joined in a push for economic reform across Europe to tackle its debt woes, British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said Friday after meeting Spain's incoming leader.

Clegg was the first foreign leader since Spain's November 20 general election to meet Mariano Rajoy, whose conservative Popular Party won a landslide victory on promises to stabilise the economy and finances.

Britain and Spain must "work together to bring about the reforms that are needed in Europe," Clegg said, hailing what he called Rajoy's "ambitious plans" to tackle Spain's own economic problems.

"We face in many ways the same challenges... managing the debt problems of the past and making reforms to increase the competitiveness of our countries," he told reporters after meeting with Rajoy for over an hour.

Rajoy said ahead of his election victory that he would make spending cuts and labour and financial reforms, but has not spoken out since, while holding meetings with politicians, unions and business leaders to plan his approach.

He is due to take office on December 21.

The two leaders also discussed economic and business relations and ways to preserve the European single market, statements from Rajoy's party and Clegg's office said.

"They discussed in particular the challenges facing the eurozone and the need for the EU to take the necessary measures to overcome the current economic crisis, ensuring growth and jobs," the Popular Party said.

© 2011 AFP

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