IMF delegation travels to Spain

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A delegation from the International Monetary Fund traveled to Spain Sunday, as Madrid struggles to bring its massive budget deficit under control and to convince nervous investors that it is not in need of a bailout.

IMF officials said the visit was a routine one, and was not expected to take up the issue of Spain's economic crisis.

"Spain is among a number of countries" that the team is to visit, a spokesman said.

"The team will not discuss Spain's economic policies," the spokesman said.

The visit by the IMF delegation come amid rampant speculation over a possible emergency international bailout, and fears that such a move would rock the entire eurozone.

Spain's economy has been buffeted by high annual deficits, sluggish growth and an unemployment rate of nearly 20 percent.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero vowed last week to cut Spain's deficit from 11.1 percent of economic output in 2009 to 9.3 percent in 2010 and 6.0 percent in 2011.

© 2011 AFP

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