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Spain cuts growth forecasts but says no need for 'major reforms'
Spain has downgraded its growth forecast for 2013 to -1.3pc, as the country’s deputy prime minister declared there was no need for major new reforms.

The eurozone’s fourth-largest economy had previously forecast that growth would fall by 0.5pc this year.

Deputy PM Soroya Saenz forecast a return to growth for Spain in 2014 of 0.5pc, with 0.9pc growth in 2015.

Speaking alongside her, Spain's economy minister Luis de Guindos revised down Spain’s public deficit forecast, to 6.3pc in 2013, 5.5pc next year, 4.1pc in 2015 and 2.7pc in 2016.

He said the new deficit cutting plan had been agreed with Europe.

Also in attendance, economy minister Cristobal Montoro ruled out a rise in taxes in petrol and said income tax would be cut in 2015.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was not at the press conference.

Ms Saenz said there was no need for major new tax reforms or taxes and the government would try to cut taxes in the future.

His announcement comes just a day after official figures showed unemployment in the country had hit a record high of 27.16pc in the first three months of the year.

That leaves more than six million out of work in the recession hit country.

Ms Saenz said unemployment would start to fall next year, down to 26.7pc, falling further in 2014 to 25.8pc.

It is a far cry from 2007, the peak of an economic boom fuelled by construction, when Spain’s jobless rate was at an all time low of 7.9pc.

The government, which took office in 2011 after winning a landslide victory, has already reformed labour laws making it easier to hire and fire.

The government is facing increasing public unrest over a series of harsh austerity measures, including a raft of cuts in public services, aimed at reining in the public deficit to within EU targets.
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