The Spanish prime minister has gone on the offensive to turn around the country’s economy and his own political fortunes.
He has unveiled a package of measures to stimulate growth and reduce crippling growth.
He called for political consensus during a debate in parliament on his proposals.
“Simply trying to stop the immediate impact of the crisis is not enough,” he said. “Between us, we must all work together to achieve recovery. We must start to do it now, moving in a clear direction. After everything that has happened, the transformation of our economic model is key to building lasting prosperity. The crisis is also an opportunity and we, as a country, must know how to make the most of it.”
In the run-up to next month’s European elections Zapatero’s Socialists have fallen behind the opposition Popular Party for the first time since he came to power in 2004.