Spain's PM says economy is beginning to grow again

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mariano Rajoy told parliament that austerity policies had helped Spain's economy to grow without need for international bailout.

Mariano Rajoy told parliament that austerity policies had helped Spain's economy to grow without need for international bailout.

MADRID - Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told parliament Tuesday that the country's economy has moved away from economic collapse and has begun to grow again.

Economic issues and the independence of Catalonia were the main themes of the General Assembly session at the parliament where the prime minister delivered a speech.

Rajoy said the government had successfully implemented austerity policies in order to avoid needing an international bailout.

The government will launch social security reform and discounts in taxes to create employment, said the prime minister, adding that a reform program was being prepared, though he did not provide details.

"Twelve million people who pay contribution amount of social security will make use of this reform and those whose annual income is less than €12,000 will be exempted from taxes," he added.

Rajoy also released the government's economic growth prediction as 1% in 2014 and 1.5% in 2015.

Commenting on the referendum for Catalonia's independence from Spain, which Catalonia's autonomous government wants to hold in November of 2014, Rajoy said the future and welfare of the people living in Catalonia causes concern for his government and that the unity of Spain cannot be spoiled.

"Referendum is illegal and will not happen," he said.

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