Spain says budget cuts, reforms beginning to pay off, country no longer in need of bailout

MADRID – The Spanish government claims its austerity measures and reforms are paying off.

Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Parliament on Wednesday that Spain was no longer close to a financial abyss and the threat of needing a bailout had receded.

Rajoy said his policies were “beginning to work,” though he said much remained to be done.

The premier claimed one major achievement was the sharp drop in recent months of the country’s borrowing costs on bond markets. He said that could save the country up to 1 billion euros ($1.31 billion) this year.

Spain has been in recession for most of the past four years and has a record 27.2 per cent unemployment rate. It has cut spending and raised taxes to bring its deficit down.