By Wendy Williams
SPAIN’S incoming Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has promised deep cuts in public spending for 2012 as he insists the country’s economic outlook ‘couldn’t be darker.’
In his first address to the country’s new parliament, the PP leader gave the first details of plans to introduce a freeze on public-sector jobs, move public holidays to Mondays, stop early retirements and cut the deficit by 16.5 billion euros in a bid to drag the country out of economic crisis.
Rajoy – who has remained tight lipped over the plans of his incoming government since winning the election – insisted the only increase in spending, would be to raise pensions in real terms, coming after the Socialists had frozen them.
Indeed he began his investiture speech with dire warnings for the struggling economy, which is believed to have already fallen into its second recession in three years.
“We are confronting enormous difficulties and must make very demanding efforts,” he said.
“Expectations for the next two quarters are not good at all.
“With the economy growing by half the rate of the rest of the European Union…Spain is being left behind …and the outlook couldn’t be darker.”
He explained the country may miss its target of cutting the shortfall to six percent of GDP this year, but insisted the goal of reducing it to 4.4 percent by next year would be met.
However Rajoy – who defeated the ruling Socialists with a campaign focused on the sovereign debt crisis –failed to give details of how he will secure the 16.5 billion euros in spending cuts needed next year.
He will be sworn in by King Juan Carlos on Wednesday.