Spain falls short of deficit reduction target
Following Spanish Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro's announcement that the country has fallen short of the deficit reduction target of 4.2 percent agreed with the EU, the International Monetary Fund has called on Madrid to introduce further austerity measures. Journalists see Spain's yet-to-be-elected government facing a tough legacy.
Madrid must renegotiate budget agenda
In view of the IMF's negative economic forecast Spain's next government will face major challenges, the centre-left business daily Cinco Días comments:
“The IMF's unflattering analysis of the situation in Spain includes a public debt that amounts to over 95 percent of its GDP for the coming years and an unemployment rate of 15 percent in 2021. The IMF's forecast is one argument more in favour of Spain renegotiating its budget agenda with Brussels as quickly as possible and replacing it with a plan more adjusted to the short and medium term realities of the Spanish economy. … This new agenda must be coupled with austerity measures amounting to 20 billion euros according to the government. A bitter pill for the next government to swallow.”
Rajoy government leaving a big mess behind
The Rajoy government's purportedly successful economic policy doesn't look so effective on closer inspection, writes the centre-left daily El Periódico de Catalunya:
“The government's position is very weak. At the end of its four-year term and despite being able to point to the fastest economic growth rate in Europe (3.2 percent), it has failed to fulfil its agreements and tried to hide this from the EU Commission and the Spanish people. Rajoy's biggest triumph, his economic policy, has left us facing an unemployment rate of more than 20 percent, growth that creates precarious jobs and an uncontrolled budget deficit.”