EU finance ministers ease Spain's pain

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EU finance ministers ease Spain's pain

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EU finance chiefs have held further talks in Brussels after a day which saw an easing of the fiscal pain for Spain.

In addition to agreeing to lend the country’s stricken banking sector an initial 30 billion euros, ministers also reached a deal on Madrid’s budget targets.

It means Spain will now need to reduce its deficit to 4.5 percent next year rather than 3 percent previously demanded.

Some analysts believe the move may mark the beginnings of a strategy shift towards less austerity in the eurozone, even though Madrid still appears to be under pressure from Brussels.

The EU Commission economic chief Olli Rehn said:
‘‘I am confident that the Spanish authorities will adopt convincing measures within the agreed timeframe. This will send a strong signal over Spain’s commitment to sustainable public finances, sustainable growth and employment.’‘

Speaking from the EU Council our euronews’ Natalia Vikulina-Richardson said: ‘‘EU ministers seem sure Spain will stabilise and do what is needed to overcome its crisis, but we’ll have to see if the markets share such optimism.’‘