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Spanish PM defends 'smoother' deficit plans

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Spanish PM defends 'smoother' deficit plans
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been accused of going soft on 'austerity' by members of his own party. Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP
09:42 CEST+02:00
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will on Monday defend his revised time frame for deficit cuts before the National Executive Committee of the country's ruling Popular Party.

Rajoy  will explain economic reforms designed to bring Spain out of the crisis to an audience comprising his party's leadership circle, news agency Europa Press reported on Monday.

During a meeting schedule for 11am, the Spanish leader will also that his new road map for fiscal consolidation will mean that the government does not need to make cuts of €18 billion ($23.58 billion).

The Spanish Prime Minister will state the government now finds itself on "much gentler" path towards deficit reduction and no longer has to take drastic measures.

On Friday, the European Commission said Spain would be given two more years, or until 2016, to bring the country's public deficit under the European Union's three-percent limit.

During Monday's meeting, Rajoy will also provide an overview of his government's national reform package which comprises measuring including a new entrepreneurship law and reforms to Spain's public administration.

Recently, influential Popular Party (PP) official Esperanza Aguirre called for a comprehensive overhaul of the the country's administration, arguing this was the electoral platform the party had been voted in on.

In response, however, leading figures within the PP closed ranks behind Rajoy and his revised deficit timeframe.

Monday's meeting of the PP leadership comes at a time of intense political debate about unemployment in Spain, reported Europa Press.

The head of the opposition socialist PSOE party Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba has called for a state pact on unemployment while Spain's King Juan Carlos has also called for Rajoy and Rubalcaba to work together to fight the country's high unemployment.

In late April, the number of unemployed people in Spain surpassed 6 million people for the first time. This saw the jobless rate stand at 27.16 percent.

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