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POLITICS

Reforms are key for Spaniards to get their lives back on track, says PM

Rajoy recognizes that first year in government has been one of "pain and suffering"

Francesco Manetto

Recognizing that his first year in office has been one of “pain and suffering” for many Spaniards, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday defended his government’s austerity program by explaining that all the cuts implemented by his government have been for the good of the people.

“All of those Spaniards who don’t have jobs and who are going through rough times are always on my mind. But everything that this government does — everything — is being done so that they can recover their lives and welfare,” Rajoy said in Toledo, where he inaugurated the Popular Party’s (PP) inter-parliamentary meeting of lawmakers.

“No one can say that this government has stood around with its hands in its pockets.”

The prime minister, who on Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of his swearing in, took a swipe at the previous Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero for “leaving us with a crushing deficit.”

“This has been the main cause of our problems. They left the social services on the verge of collapse,” he said “The Socialists will be blamed for the rest of history.”

As to the outlook, Rajoy said that 2013 will be a “complicated” and “difficult” year but the economy will be stabilized. “Each reform is an irreversible step toward the goal of recovery,” he said. “Our efforts are not falling into a black hole and sooner rather than later, they will start to bear fruit.”

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