Zapatero criticizes "absolute madness" that Spain may need EU assistance
- For the President of the Government, speculation that Spain could end up like Greece is a "huge nonsense".
- The rumors have caused a collapse of the Ibex 35.
- The IMF has denied the rumors that equated Spain with Greece.
The presider of the Spanish government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, described on Tuesday as "absolute madness" and "huge nonsense" the speculations that Spain may need in future EU aid, such as Greece, and demanded that attention be paid to the data and facts.
At a press conference in Brussels after meeting with the presidents of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the Commission, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, Zapatero denounced in particular the rumor that Spain could need up to 280,000 million euros , which caused this Tuesday an important fall in the Stock Exchange.
After committing himself to "combat" that kind of speculation, he assured that he is calm and has " confidence" in the "strength and solvency of Spanish public accounts " and in his capacity for economic recovery. Zapatero acknowledged that they had told him that rumor and his answer was simple: "I do not give credit, I do not give credit".
We can not be all day speculation, we have to go to the facts In his view, the fact is "very serious" and "simply intolerable", because it can cause an immediate effect on the stock markets and increase the differential of the Spanish debt with respect to the German bond.
"We can not be all day paying attention to speculations, forecasts, hypotheses, what can happen, we have to go to the facts and data, " said Zapatero before recalling that the Spanish debt remains twenty points below of the community average . He also suggested that the first quarter may show positive growth data , which will be known in the coming days, and recalled that revenues have increased.
In his opinion, "confidence is produced with data and facts, not opinions, projections or forecasts" and against movements that are the result of short-term or insufficient information , the important thing, he said, is that the official indicators "guarantee the recovery and growth "
As an example of the speculation , he recalled that since the beginning of the crisis has been spoken of the risk of the Spanish financial sector, "one of what has resisted better", and denounced that now hear again " absolutely unfounded and disproportionate " on the risk of the real estate sector for banks and savings banks.
Any other speculation on the euro zone is absolutely unfounded and irresponsible Zapatero, who has appeared alone in the large press room of the European Council, ratified the support of the Eurogroup to Greece, which, he said, "has what it needs, so that those who have commitments with her can rest assured. "
In this context, he valued the sacrifice that Greek citizens will have to make and praised the responsibility and the "courage" of the Government of Giorgos Papandreou when launching a deficit reduction plan, fiscal consolidation and structural reforms.
After these assessments, he insisted that " any other speculation about the euro zone is absolutely unfounded and irresponsible" and stressed that all countries, including Spain and Portugal, have the necessary strength to overcome the crisis, consolidate their public accounts and return to a path of growth. In his opinion, the support to Greece supposes a pact of responsibility, credibility and solvency.
When the leaders of the Eurogroup meet this Friday in Brussels, he added, they will show that the European countries row in the same direction , "the direction of confidence, of the reduction of public deficits, of economic growth, of the gain in competitiveness and of shared responsibility. "
For its part and endorsing the words of Zapatero, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) denied on Tuesday that Spain has requested international aid , such as Greece, to guarantee the payment of its debt. " There is no truth in those rumors," said spokesman Bill Murray.