[QODLink]
Talk to Al Jazeera

Luis de Guindos: 'We are making efforts'

Spain's minister of economy is confident his country and the eurozone can reverse its misfortunes.

Last Modified: 02 Jun 2013 13:08
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

In Spain, things may finally be turning around, as the country's economy shows sign of recovery.

Its exports grew at the impressive rate of five percent in the first quarter this year. And in March, Spain achieved a trade surplus with the rest of the world - the country exported more goods to the world than it brought in. This was a first for Spain, which has never had a trade surplus ever before. 

We are in the same boat, there are no passengers that are first class or second class in the eurozone. I am fully convinced that the 17 of us in the eurozone are making efforts in order to create a better eurozone over the next [few] years. 

Luis de Guindos, Spain's minister of economy and competitiveness

And the interest yield on government bonds are down, indicating that investors view the country's debt less risky than before.

But while all this is happening there is still a dark cloud hanging over the country - a stubbornly high rate of unemployment. Today, more than half of all young people between the ages of 16 and 24, do not have a job.

So, how can a whole generation coming of age under these circumstances ever gain confidence in the future?

It seems to be a mixed picture for the Spaniards, but decidedly not all dark, at least according to Luis de Guindos, the country's minister of economy and competitiveness.

And while many people speculate that there are cultural differences in the southern European countries that gave rise to a greater economic downturn than in the north of the continent, he believes otherwise.

"I don't think that is a cultural difference with economic consequences between the north and the south," explains Guindos, "I think the main reason for the divergency that we are now having is that in the northern European countries [they] applied policies that gave rise to much more competitiveness than in the case of the south ... but now we have to correct that situation and the correction of these balances are painful from a social and political standpoint."

Guindos has been in the office now for a year-and-a-half. His supporters argue that his government was elected with very strong support from the Spanish people, so they are willing to give him and his colleagues time to succeed.

On this episode ofTalk to Al Jazeera, we speak to the man in charge of Spain's economy, to find out how much time should he be given to turn around the economy and what does the future hold for the country.

This episode of Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen from June 2, at the following times GMT: Sunday: 0830, 1930; and Monday: 1430.  

 Click here for more Talk to Al Jazeera

509

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.
join our mailing list