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Rajoy says crisis needs new economic policy

Source: Reuters - Sat 3rd Dec 2011

Incoming Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called on all Spaniards to work together to overcome the debt crisis and promised a new economic policy to deal with unemployment that is more than double the European Union average.

"What's ahead for Spain is going to be difficult ... exiting the crisis is not just the government's task but that of every Spaniard," Rajoy told journalists in Pontevedra, Galicia, in northwest Spain.

"It's complicated at the moment ... There are over 5 million people in Spain without a job, who are having a bad time, and this requires implementing another economic policy and explaining it properly," he said.

Apart from two tweets, these were Rajoy's first comments since his centre-right People's Party won an absolute majority in the Nov. 20 parliamentary election. He is due to be sworn in as prime minister on Dec. 19.

Financial markets and Spaniards alike are keen to hear more details of the PP's economic plans, likely to include a wave of new austerity measures as debt markets drive Spanish debt yields to unsustainable levels.

A reform of the labour market to create more jobs and further restructuring of the banking sector to break the strangling of credit are likely to be top of the PP's agenda.

Rajoy is expected to outline his policies to many of the euro zone's leaders at a European People's Party summit in Marseilles on Dec. 7-8.

"I will be speaking to the most important leaders in Europe there (in Marseille) and will let them know our position. That we are in favour of public spending control, of not living above our means," he said.

Rajoy has been cagey about exactly where he will cut public spending, but he has promised to meet Spain's target of slashing its public deficit to 4.4 percent of economic output next year, which implies drastic measures.

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