No change for Spain

26 February 2013

The markets – including Madrid – may have been in turmoil on Tuesday because of Italy’s election stalemate, but the Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos insisted that makes no difference to his country’s austerity and recovery efforts.

He believes there is too much attention being paid to the short-term – rather than the medium term – market response and insisted that Madrid is not now any closer to asking for a bailout.

“Spain is not closer, or further, from the OMT programme than it was 24 hours ago. We are in exactly in the same situation and again I think we should not pay too much attention to short-term (market) volatility. I think that at the end of the day what we have to look at is the medium-term scenario, “ De Guindos told Reuters.

The ECB has taken much of the sting out of the eurozone debt crisis by pledging to buy as many government bonds as necessary to shore up the currency bloc via a programme called Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT).

De Guindos said he is hopeful the markets will soon be reassured by a willingness of a new Italian government to pursue policies that have a more calming effect.

He also intends to push ahead with planned tax cuts for Spain next year and beyond and stick with deficit-cutting as neither market jitters nor the bleaker economic outlook released last week by the European Commission would deviate the government from its economic policy.

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