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Spain needs to take hard decisions to regain growth: minister

(Xinhua)

09:22, July 17, 2012

BARCELONA, Spain, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness Luis de Guindos on Monday said the government had to take hard decisions in the short term in order to boost growth in the medium and long term.

Speaking at the IESE Business School of Barcelona, the minister said Spain needed to improve its competitiveness and that all measures taken by now, although hard, would improve the situation of the Spanish economy in the long term.

De Guindos admitted that there had been mistakes in the building process of the euro currency, but praised the latest decisions taken by European leaders concerning forming a banking and fiscal union among the European members.

Last week, the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers agreed to a Spanish request for help for its banks, aiming to sign the deal by this Friday and promising an initial 30 billion euros by the end of the month.

They also agreed to give Spain one more year to bring its finances into line with EU norms, with its public deficit to be less than the EU ceiling of 3.0 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2014.

In return for help for its banks, Spain agreed to a series of banking sector reforms and EU inspections to ensure oversight of their restructuring.

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