Madrid, Feb 28 (IANS/EFE) Spain’s budget deficit came in at 6.7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Wednesday.
The figure was four-tenths of a percentage point above the 6.3 percent GDP target agreed to with the European Commission.
Rajoy discussed Spain’s budget deficit figures during an appearance in parliament and in response to a question from Socialist opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba.
The prime minister said a week ago that Spain’s budget deficit had come in below 7 percent of GDP last year, but he did not provide a specific number.
The budget deficit reduction achieved so far is the result of an “enormous effort” by society and the structural adjustments, which totaled 3.5 percent, Rajoy said.
Spain has achieved “what no other OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country has managed to do”, the prime minister said.
Spain agreed to cut its budget deficit to 6.3 percent of GDP in 2012, 4.5 percent of GDP in 2013 and 2.8 percent of GDP in 2014, but the latest European Commission estimates are that the Iberian nation’s budget deficit was 7 percent last year, excluding the effects of the bank assistance package totaling 3.2 percent of GDP.
The Iberian country has been battered by an economic meltdown that sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 26 percent.