Spanish Prime Minister hails his country’s escape from the crisis

 
Julian Harris
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SPAIN’S Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, yesterday talked up the country’s impressive economic recovery, ahead of crucial elections that could see him ousted by a move towards socialist parties.

“It is a nation that has come out of a nightmare,” Rajoy said. “It has saved itself, recovered economic confidence, enjoys prestige and is once again attractive for investors.”

The Mediterranean state’s economy expanded at its fastest rate since 2007 last year, recording quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.7 per cent in the final three months of the year, pushing it to two per cent growth year-on-year.

Yet unemployment remains a problem, with a jobless rate of nearly 24 per cent.

Rajoy said yesterday that there would be half a million new jobs by the end of the year, and added that the government’s official economic forecast had been lifted from two per cent GDP growth in 2015 to 2.4 per cent.