Spain’s prime minister says there has to be wider political support for spending cuts and pension reforms if his country is to be pulled out of economic crisis.
The main opposition conservative Popular Party, and several smaller parties have said that they would oppose the 2011 austerity budget when it is presented later this year.
Opening the annual State of the Nation debate in Parliament Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: “Circumstances have changed. We cannot rely on the same sort of growth as before. We cannot depend on construction and easy loans anymore. This is a decisive moment. The time has come to join the group of the most competitive countries of the EU, a group we’ve always aspired to be part of.”
As Zapatero spoke Spain’s central bank revealed Spanish lenders borrowed 126.3 billion euros from the European Central Bank in June.
That was a record figure – 47.5 percent more than in May – reflecting the fact that Spanish banks are unable to borrow elsewhere because international investors lack confidence in the country’s fiscal stability.