WASHINGTON, April 26 The International Monetary
Fund on Friday welcomed Spain's decision to ease up on its
austerity drive, saying it should aid employment while still
helping to return the nation to fiscal health.
"I strongly support the Spanish government's objectives of
restoring a sound fiscal position while securing a recovery and
creating jobs," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in
a statement. "Today's announcement to pursue a more gradual
consolidation path is a welcome step toward meeting these goals,
building on major reforms and structural fiscal improvements
Lagarde said the IMF looked forward to discussing the plans
with the government during a mission to Spain in early June that
is part of the Fund's annual review of the Spanish economy.