Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, and the general director of the European Stability Mechanism (MEDE), Klaus Regling, held today in Madrid a very constructive meeting, within the contacts that the general director of the MEDE regularly holds with the member states. The meeting discussed the economic situation in Spain, the activity of the ESM and the future of the Economic and Monetary Union.

Spain is a fundamental member of the MEDE. Its participation in the fund is the fourth most important (11.82% of the capital of the MEDE amounting to 80.4 billion euros) and also plays a very important role in the future of the eurozone and its institutions. The MEDE is also creditor of Spain.

The recovery of Spain is a success in the history of the recent crisis. In the more than four years since requesting a financial aid program to recapitalize the banking sector, Spain has experienced robust growth (well above the average in the euro zone) with continuous improvement of the labor market and falling unemployment and a fully sanitized banking sector.

Challenges remain and the Spanish Government is committed to fiscal consolidation and the implementation of structural reforms to maintain growth.

To underline this good performance, Spain has made voluntary advance payments to reduce its debt with the MEDE, which is now 34.7 billion euros. Spain has offered to return this year up to 3,000 million euros additional, a request that will be assessed by the governing bodies of the MEDE. This demonstrates the good conditions of access to the Spanish market and its comfortable liquidity position.

For the euro zone, the case of Spain demonstrates how effective the MEDE instruments have been in dealing with the recent crisis. It re-capitalized the banking system and supported a rapid restructuring of the financial sector that, together with the broad reform agenda implemented in parallel by the Spanish Government, made Spain one of the fastest growing economies. The MEDE believes that this example should continue to inspire the eurozone countries where reforms sustain the current growth trend and provide lasting prosperity for European citizens.

Looking ahead, both Spain and the MEDE remain committed to working together to promote sound economic policies, complete the Banking Union and deepen the construction of the Economic and Monetary Union; All this is essential for the resilience of the euro zone.

Minister De Guindos congratulated the CEO, Klaus Regling, for the renewal of his mandate and the good work of recent years.

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