FOLLOWING years of struggle, Spain is now making strong progress towards fixing its crippled economy.
This is according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has said it expects the country’s economy to start to grow later this year.
However, the IMF warned that the next few years will be tough, and said Spain still needs to do more to boost job creation and shield its banks from recession.
“Strong reform progress is helping stabilise the economy and external and fiscal imbalances are correcting rapidly. But unemployment remains unacceptably high and the outlook is difficult,” the IMF said in its report.
“This calls for urgent action to generate growth and jobs, by both Spain and Europe.”
Unemployment has risen steadily across the European Union since the start of the economic crisis, reaching unprecedented levels in Spain this year.
Joblessness in Spain stands at 27.2%, with more than six million people currently out of work.
The IMF said the Spanish government’s main priority should be to reform labour laws further, making it easier for companies to change working conditions rather than dismissing employees.
It also urged Spain to provide more training to young and unskilled people to help them into employment.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has previously said he is unwilling to amend last year’s labour reform, which resulted in two general strikes in the space of just six months.
But the prime minister has now agreed to an overhaul of state bureaucracy by cutting red tape and closing redundant institutions – although he has not made it clear whether reforms would mean job cuts.