MADRID, April 13 (Reuters) - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero ruled out further austerity measures to reduce the country’s deficit during a visit to China but said it would move forward with other reforms.
“There’s no expectation of having to make new austerity measures,” Zapatero said in comments aired on state radio RNE.
“The government wants to pass stimulus measures, not fiscal stimulus, but for growth and stimulus through reforms,” he said.
Spain has implemented public sector wage cuts and VAT hikes to bring its public deficit within EU limits and has passed labour and pension reforms to gain investor confidence and avoid a bailout like in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Its next expected step is a reform of collective bargaining, loosening the link between inflation and wages.
During his visit to Beijing, Zapatero also signed eight contracts worth a total of 1.5 billion euros for private companies including Santander , Gamesa and Indra , newspapers said.
Reporting by Jose Rodriguez and Tracy Rucinski