MADRID (AP) — Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says the country's government deficit for 2012 has fallen to less than 7 percent, down from nearly 9 percent a year earlier.
Kicking off a two-day state-of-the-nation debate Wednesday, Rajoy said the reduction followed "a readjustment without precedent" in the country's economy. Last year Spain pledged that it would cut its deficit to 6.3 percent. To convince investors it could manage its finances, Rajoy's government has introduced far-reaching austerity measures and reforms over the past 14 months. But in doing so it has broken every major election campaign promise, stirred much social opposition and triggered two general strikes.
The debate is Rajoy's first since taking office in December 2011. It comes amid corruption allegations involving his conservative Popular Party and a crippling economic crisis.