Spain respects EU targets: PM
(MADRID) - Spain fended off EU criticism over its deficit on Monday, with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy insisting it "scrupulously" respects its commitments amid warnings from Brussels.
"We are scrupulously fulfilling our commitments" on cutting the deficit, Rajoy told reporters in Madrid, stressing that Spain intends to lower its deficit to 3.0 percent of output in 2013.
"The timing and pace have been adjusted, but the ultimate aim has not changed, which is that in 2013 there will be a deficit of 3.0 percent of GDP," Rajoy said on Monday.
Despite his determination to meet that target, Rajoy annoyed officials in Brussels last week by raising Spain's deficit target for 2012 to 5.8 percent, above an EU-agreed target of 4.4 percent, citing a higher than expected deficit last year.
The spokesman for EU Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn, Amadeu Altafaj, on Monday called Spain's deficit overshoot "serious" and "grave".
Spain may face a fine for flouting the target.
Text and Picture Copyright 2012 AFP. All other Copyright 2012 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable.