Merkel backs Spanish Eurogroup candidate

THE German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has today given her full backing to Luis de Guindos, Spain’s economy minister, to become the next president of the Eurogroup forum of finance ministers.

Mariano Rajoy, Spanish Prime Minister, underlined de Guindos’ credentials as a very capable minister. Rajoy has also backed another member of his Partido Popular(PP) political party, Miguel Arias Cañete, for European Commissioner.

Merkel, who earlier this week accompanied Mariano Rajoy for six kilometres along the famous Camino de Santiago de Compostelawalk, announced her backing of Luis de Guindos’ candidacy in a joint appearance with the Spanish premier.

She said: “Luis de Guindos was an excellent economy minister in Spain in difficult times.”

More than once Merkel has used Spain’s recovery as an example of how harsh austerity measures and budget cuts can result in fruitful results.

Whatever one’s opinion of the PP’s social reforms and sweeping cuts, Spain has gone from looking over the financial abyss to becoming the Euro zone’s fourth largest economy under economic reforms led by de Guindos.

Although Spain has shown continued signs of growth of late, it will not be all plain sailing. General unemployment is still high at 24 per cent nationwide, and much higher amongst women and the young.

Furthermore, with the German, French and Italian economies slowing down, the Euro zone is still displaying worrying signs of stagnation. The road to recovery will not be easy.

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