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European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi thinks Spain is on the right track towards economic recovery.

In Madrid to address members of parliament during a closed-door session, Draghi said he sees positive signs and substantial progress.

He praised Spaniards for their great efforts to fight the crisis, said the Spanish bank rescue programme was showing results.

After talking to lawmakers, Draghi told reporters: “The economic situation, the social situation, are difficult and the people are going through difficult times. But I also told that Spain is on the right track, and today banks in Spain have a much healthier balance sheet. Today Spain has what probably is the most advanced recovery and resolution system for banks in the euro area.”

Draghi is seen by many as Spain’s saviour. With the country’s banking system swamped with toxic debt, last year it looked like Madrid was going to be forced to ask for a sovereign bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund.

But the European Central Bank’s promise to safeguard the euro with a bond-purchase plan lowered Spain’s borrowing costs.

Draghi may be seeing “positive signs” but the Spanish people would be hard pushed to name them, particularly with more than a quarter of the working population jobless and over half of young Spaniards without work.

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