Spain will weather economic crisis, says new PM

3rd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain is experiencing difficult times but will pull through, future prime minister Mariano Rajoy said on Saturday in his first public comments since winning elections two weeks ago.

"Things are complicated. It is going to be necessary to govern and take decisions," said Rajoy, whose conservative Popular Party (PP) crushed the former ruling Socialists promising widespread austerity measures to plug the public deficit.

"What lies ahead for Spain is difficult... but we will come out on top."

Rajoy, who is due to take office on December 22, spoke to reporters on a visit to his native Galicia in northwestern Spain, warning that overcoming the economic crisis "will not just be a task for the government" but one "for all Spaniards".

He said Spain needed to adopt another economic policy and take control of spending. adding: "We want to control waste, not live beyond our means, not spend what we don't have."

The new government is grappling with unemployment of 21.5 percent and the threat of a recession at the start of 2012 after zero economic growth in the third quarter.

Under pressure on the debt markets, Spain is seeking to slash its total public deficit to 6.0 percent of gross domestic product by the end of 2011 from 9.2 percent in 2010. It aims to reach the EU limit of 3.0 percent by 2013.

© 2011 AFP

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