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Isabel Rodríguez Tejedo, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra, Spain
More and better
The European Commission is going to ask Spain to sweep its backyard a little more vigorously for 2012. approve In general, the international authorities seem to be broadly in agreement with the direction of our policy, and the IMF expedition that is scheduled to take place very soon is likely to endorse this opinion. And yet, it is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that such confidence brings "ifs" and "buts".
On the one hand, it seems almost certain that the overall deficit will reach goal of 6%, the goal target for 2011. But we will once again hear warnings about the vital importance of the autonomous regions maintaining their commitments and the expense being controlled at all levels. European demands will probably have an impact on the control of the public expense in very sensitive areas, such as health and Education.
Beyond budgetary control, Spain has implemented global measures that are seen in a positive light, although major structural reforms are lacking, especially in the work market. Deceptively, the breakdown of negotiations between unions and employers may not seem costly. After all, the government will implement changes. But the months consumed by a process with few results are time, if not wasted, then wasted badly employee. It seems unlikely that the Commission will fail to notice that, on the face of it, the coming reform will not meet either expectations or market needs.
In sum, the message we are likely to get from our northern partners is that they do not disagree with the broad outlines of the measures. But (and that is the word core topic) they expect, and will probably demand, more and better. In some cases probably much more. It only remains to be seen how, as things stand, we will respond to the call for greater efforts.