EU urges Spain to make more efforts to control deficit

The European Commission has urged Spain and other EU member states facing market pressures to press ahead with reforms to ensure they meet their fiscal targets and can overcome the crisis, according to Spanish press reports.

The commission believes Spain may find it difficult to meet its adjustment targets for the public deficit. According to commission forecasts, the Spanish deficit will be 6.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year and 5.3% of GDP in 2012, the Spanish business daily Expansión reported. The EU as a whole is expected to grow by around 1.9% in 2012.

The Spanish Government envisaged the deficit to be 6% of GDP this year and 4.4% of GDP in 2012.

The commission said Spain needed to make sustained efforts to control the deficit and the debt of regional governments. The government should be ready to apply additional measures if it detects that it might not meet the planned debt consolidation targets.

The comments are included in an annual report published on Monday looking at the health and sustainability of public finances among eurozone countries.

The report takes a broadly favourable view of Spain’s efforts to put its public finances in order with the deficit planned to fall below 3% in 2013 and down to 2.1% in 2014. But it also warned against possible slippages, noting that nine out of 17 autonomous regions had had bigger deficits than planned in 2010.

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