News

Spain's Rajoy: Economic Situation One of 'Extreme Difficulty'

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during a press conference at the Moncloa Palace, in Madrid, March 17, 2012
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during a press conference at the Moncloa Palace, in Madrid, March 17, 2012

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says that his nation's economic plight is one of "extreme difficulty" and that the country may need an international bailout.

The Spanish leader told a meeting of his People's Party on Wednesday that those who do not understand the severity of the country's problems are "fooling themselves."  He has suggested that Spain might need a financial rescue package, following European bailouts already handed to Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Rajoy defended the austerity measures his government has imposed in an effort to cut the government's deficit spending.  But the country's borrowing costs have risen since he last month unilaterally eased the government's deficit target for 2012, in defiance of a European Union mandate.

Investors showed weak interest in Spanish debt Wednesday. The government sold $3.4 billion in bonds - just above the minimum it sought to sell.  But the interest rate on the notes increased over the last time Spain sold bonds in September.

Nearly a quarter of the Spanish workforce is unemployed, the highest in the 17-nation euro currency bloc. Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said the government realizes investors are wary about the state of the Spanish economy.

"The government is absolutely aware of the environment, that there is an atmosphere of nervousness, that in addition it is made worse by the perception of a slow-down in Europe," he said.  "The main source of nerves is the idea, which is more extensive every time, that we will have a recession in Europe this year and that it doesn't only affect the countries in the south.  The indicators also show the countries in the north are starting to be affected.''

But de Guindos said Spain is committed to its austerity reforms and boosting the country's economic fortunes.

"The criticism that measures haven't been taken quickly is sincerely far from the truth. More can always be done," he said.  "More can always be done and there the government is absolutely aware that it's very important to continue with its reformist agenda, that it be broad and that it increase the Spanish economy's growth potential.''

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs