Spain

Spain

Spain to leave EU’s deficit ‘sin bin’ next year: Rajoy

Spain will be taken off the EU's red list of budgetary sinners next year, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Friday. Spain and France are currently the only two eurozone countries still under special budget supervision by Brussels for running up deficits in excess of an EU-imposed limit of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). But "Spain will come out of the excessive deficit procedure in 2018, and we can be close to a balanced budget in 2020," Rajoy told an end-of-year news conference. Madrid plans to reduce its deficit ratio to 3.1 percent in 2017, then bring it back below the 3.0-percent limit in 2018 when — according to the government's draft budget — it will come out at 2.3 percent. Countries which repeatedly break the 3.0-percent rule enshrined in EU treaties can face possible penalties and fines. At the end of the third quarter of 2017, Spain's deficit stood at 1.56 percent of GDP, putting on course to reach the 3.1-percent target for th..

Spain

Ex-Catalan leader demands regional government be reinstated

Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. Photo: AFP Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont on Saturday demanded Madrid reinstate his regional government, which was deposed after an independence referendum that Spanish courts judged illegal, as part of a political settlement. "As president, I demand the Spanish government and those who support it…restore all they have expropriated from the Catalans without their say-so," Puigdemont said from Brussels as he called on Madrid to "negotiate politically." Puigdemont's administration followed up the October 1 referendum by declaring independence but Madrid promptly sacked him and his team and, facing arrest, he fled into Belgian exile while colleagues were arrested and jailed. Puigdemont campaigned for the region's December 21st snap election from his Brussels exile after a Spanish court charged him with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. But a solid showing by pro-independence parties in the..

Spain

Ex-Catalan leader demands regional government be reinstated

Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. Photo: AFP Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont on Saturday demanded Madrid reinstate his regional government, which was deposed after an independence referendum that Spanish courts judged illegal, as part of a political settlement. "As president, I demand the Spanish government and those who support it…restore all they have expropriated from the Catalans without their say-so," Puigdemont said from Brussels as he called on Madrid to "negotiate politically." Puigdemont's administration followed up the October 1 referendum by declaring independence but Madrid promptly sacked him and his team and, facing arrest, he fled into Belgian exile while colleagues were arrested and jailed. Puigdemont campaigned for the region's December 21st snap election from his Brussels exile after a Spanish court charged him with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. But a solid showing by pro-independence parties in the..

Spain

Spain to leave EU’s deficit ‘sin bin’ next year: Rajoy

Spain will be taken off the EU's red list of budgetary sinners next year, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Friday. Spain and France are currently the only two eurozone countries still under special budget supervision by Brussels for running up deficits in excess of an EU-imposed limit of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). But "Spain will come out of the excessive deficit procedure in 2018, and we can be close to a balanced budget in 2020," Rajoy told an end-of-year news conference. Madrid plans to reduce its deficit ratio to 3.1 percent in 2017, then bring it back below the 3.0-percent limit in 2018 when — according to the government's draft budget — it will come out at 2.3 percent. Countries which repeatedly break the 3.0-percent rule enshrined in EU treaties can face possible penalties and fines. At the end of the third quarter of 2017, Spain's deficit stood at 1.56 percent of GDP, putting on course to reach the 3.1-percent target for th..

Spain

Algerian migrant held in jail in Spain found dead

A protestor at the Archidona facility in November. Photo: AFP Spanish authorities said Friday they have opened an investigation into the death of an Algerian migrant found dead in a jail where hundreds of migrants are being held pending asylum claims. "Police have opened an investigation to shed light on the death of the detainee, aged 36 and of Algerian citizenship," police said in a statement. The man, who has not been identified, was found dead by staff Friday in his cell in a brand-new prison in the southern Spanish town of Archidona, near Malaga. According to a police source, the man could not be revived. He had been placed in detention from November 20th to January 18th. Migrants who arrive in Spain by boat are usually initially detained in police facilities for identification and processing before being sent to an immigration detention centre while their asylum claim is processed. But the Spanish government has been housing nearly 500 migrants — most of t..

Spain

Jobless Spaniards turn noses up at 12,000 strawberry-picking jobs

In 2015, Andalusia had the highest unemployment rate in the EU. SAMUEL ARANDA / AFP Out of 11,900 fruit picking jobs in the southern Spanish district of Huelva, only 840 candidates applied. This in a region of Spain with 850,000 out of work. The mass job offer, launched by Andalusia’s Employment Service (SAE), was made available to the public for a month to little avail. “We had the same problem last year when there wasn’t the workforce needed to collect all the fruit,” Manuel Ceada, chief delegate of Huelva’s Economic Council, told finance daily Libre Mercado. “Some people might think it’s a contradiction that with the number of people out of work in the region, these job vacancies don’t get filled,” he added. “The truth is that people who opt for agricultural jobs are the ones who haven’t been able to find any other kind of work. As soon as they get another job offer that meets their skillset, they quit. According to local agrarian association UPA, there’..

Spain

Spain to leave EU’s deficit ‘sin bin’ next year: Rajoy

Spain will be taken off the EU's red list of budgetary sinners next year, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Friday. Spain and France are currently the only two eurozone countries still under special budget supervision by Brussels for running up deficits in excess of an EU-imposed limit of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). But "Spain will come out of the excessive deficit procedure in 2018, and we can be close to a balanced budget in 2020," Rajoy told an end-of-year news conference. Madrid plans to reduce its deficit ratio to 3.1 percent in 2017, then bring it back below the 3.0-percent limit in 2018 when — according to the government's draft budget — it will come out at 2.3 percent. Countries which repeatedly break the 3.0-percent rule enshrined in EU treaties can face possible penalties and fines. At the end of the third quarter of 2017, Spain's deficit stood at 1.56 percent of GDP, putting on course to reach the 3.1-percent target for th..

Spain

Algerian migrant held in jail in Spain found dead

A protestor at the Archidona facility in November. Photo: AFP Spanish authorities said Friday they have opened an investigation into the death of an Algerian migrant found dead in a jail where hundreds of migrants are being held pending asylum claims. "Police have opened an investigation to shed light on the death of the detainee, aged 36 and of Algerian citizenship," police said in a statement. The man, who has not been identified, was found dead by staff Friday in his cell in a brand-new prison in the southern Spanish town of Archidona, near Malaga. According to a police source, the man could not be revived. He had been placed in detention from November 20th to January 18th. Migrants who arrive in Spain by boat are usually initially detained in police facilities for identification and processing before being sent to an immigration detention centre while their asylum claim is processed. But the Spanish government has been housing nearly 500 migrants — most of t..

Spain

‘Ruling Catalonia from abroad is absurd’: Spanish PM

Rajoy has repeatedly ruled out holding talks with Puigdemont. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday denounced as "absurd" the idea that ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont could govern from Belgium where he is in self-imposed exile to avoid arrest. "It is absurd to pretend to be the president of a region when you live abroad, and even more absurd to pretend that you are carrying out this function from abroad," Rajoy said in his end-of-year press conference in Madrid. His remarks came a week after Catalan separatist parties claimed victory in a divisive snap election. Madrid had called the poll after Catalan lawmakers declared independence on October 27, triggering Spain's worst political crisis since democracy was reinstated following the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. Following the declaration, Rajoy had sacked Catalonia's government, dissolved its parliament and stripped the region of its treasured auton..

Spain

Jobless Spaniards turn noses up at 12,000 strawberry-picking jobs

In 2015, Andalusia had the highest unemployment rate in the EU. SAMUEL ARANDA / AFP Out of 11,900 fruit picking jobs in the southern Spanish district of Huelva, only 840 candidates applied. This in a region of Spain with 850,000 out of work. The mass job offer, launched by Andalusia’s Employment Service (SAE), was made available to the public for a month to little avail. “We had the same problem last year when there wasn’t the workforce needed to collect all the fruit,” Manuel Ceada, chief delegate of Huelva’s Economic Council, told finance daily Libre Mercado. “Some people might think it’s a contradiction that with the number of people out of work in the region, these job vacancies don’t get filled,” he added. “The truth is that people who opt for agricultural jobs are the ones who haven’t been able to find any other kind of work. As soon as they get another job offer that meets their skillset, they quit. According to local agrarian association UPA, there’..

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