• Spain's news in English

'First quarter of 2013 will be less bad': Minister

AFP/The Local · 9 Apr 2013, 12:50

Published: 09 Apr 2013 12:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Spanish economy had "clearly" improved from the final three months of 2012, when output plunged by 0.8 percent, De Guindos told participants at the Foro de la Nueva Economía, or New Economic Forum.

The Spanish economic chief did not, however, predict an economic expansion in the first quarter of 2013.

"The first quarter of this year will be clearly less bad than the previous quarter," De Guindos said.

Spain is immersed in a double-dip recession after failing to recover convincingly from the collapse of a decade-long property boom in 2008, an economic disaster that has sent the unemployment rate soaring to a record 26 percent.

The Spanish economy, the eurozone's fourth-largest, contracted by 1.4 percent last year, the second worst yearly slump since 1970.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government is predicting a return to economic growth in 2014 if the country sticks to a programme of cost-cutting measures and of reforms aimed at improving economic efficiency.

The government has admitted that it will have to revise its forecast for an economic dip of only 0.5 percent this year. The Bank of Spain is predicting a 1.5-percent plunge in  output this year and only a "modest rebound" in 2014.

Doubts are growing over the prospects for southern European states that are fighting to slash deficits while their economies wallow in recession.

Portugal is preparing a new battery of spending cuts after the country's constitutional court rejected a number of austerity measures aimed at respecting the terms of its international bailout.

Spain recorded an annual public deficit equal to 7.0 percent of gross domestic product last year, missing a 6.3-percent target it had agreed with the European Union.

Now, the Spanish government wants Brussels to agree to relax its 2013 deficit target to about 6.0 of GDP from the previously agreed 4.5 percent, a government source said this month.

Spain also wants the European Union to agree to give it an extra year to bring its deficit to below the bloc's maximum threshold of 3.0 percent of GDP, the source said.

Story continues below…

During his speech on Tuesday, the economy minister also said that the European Union had made mistakes in the initial moments of the Cyprus bailout.

He said, however, that these had been corrected.

He added that Europe guaranteed all deposit, especially those under €100,000.

The economy minister defended the European 

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain’s Socialists lift veto on conservatives
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
jobs available