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Spain must press ahead with reforms and path to recovery, says Rajoy 

Spain is on the way to stabilty but all efforts must now be made to ensure the path to recovery is consolidated.

During an interview on the ‘Herrera en COPE’ programme on Cadena COPE, the acting President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, stressed that the latest unemployment data confirmed “the shift in trend that has taken place over the course of this legislature”.

As regards the formation of a new Government of Spain, he said that a government “supported by over 200 MPs” would enable the outstanding reforms needed to be undertaken and the economic recovery to be consolidated.

?Mariano Rajoy said unemployment is currently falling at a yearly rate of eight per cent. However, he went on to say that this is not enough because “the number of people unable to work in Spain is still very high”.

He also explained that the number of people contributing to the Spanish Social Security system is increasing at a yearly rate of 3.2 per cent. Between 2014 and 2015, a total of 1,113,000 people became active contributors to the Social Security system.

Mariano Rajoy believes that “this is a very good trend” and that the goal of creating two million jobs over the next four years can be achieved “if the same economic policy is maintained over the coming years, if a stable government is formed and if certainty is offered to the economic and social stakeholders”.

The acting President of the Government said that, following the elections held on 20 December, there is a need to both “respect the results reflected by the ballot boxes” and “try to unite those political forces that agree on the essential issues”.

In this regard, Mariano Rajoy advocated a government supported by over 200 MPs, in other words, with the backing of “all those political parties that believe in the Spanish Constitution” and that “are committed to Europe, economic growth, employment and the unity of Spain”. He added that this is the option that “would most benefit Spain” because “it respects the will demonstrated by the Spanish people, allows reforms to be undertaken with widespread support and sends a positive message on the stability of this country – both to people in Spain and overseas”.

Mariano Rajoy also said that a government supported by over 200 MPs would suffice to undertake the reforms considered necessary, “reforms that will be effective for many years”, and also to “send a message to ensure that the recovery continues its consolidation” because economic growth and job creation are still “the main national objectives”.

Furthermore, he stressed that various other European countries have coalition governments, with Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Austria being fine examples. “In Spain, and even though this has not been the case to date, we have to start getting used to the idea that things can change”, he said.

He then added that “I am mostly concerned about creating political stability in Spain and not throwing away the efforts made by the Spanish people over the last four years that now allow us to talk of unemployment figures such as those released today”.

Catalonia

As regards the political situation in Catalonia, Mariano Rajoy said that “the best thing would be for Mr Mas to abandon his pro-indepen-dence proposals”. However, “seeing as this is not possible”, the most appropriate course “would be to hold elections”. “I honestly see no other solution”, he added.

The acting President of the Government also stressed that “it has been clearly shown that the State has sufficient means to enforce the law” because “the sovereignty of the Spanish people and national unity cannot be destroyed by anyone”. In his opinion, both the Constitutional Court and the Government of Spain “have been where they needed to be” throughout the sovereignty process.