Speaking at a banking seminar in Madrid, the Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, said that if the government had implemented its labour reforms earlier there would be a million fewer unemployed. However, he also said that he had hopes that the reforms would generate “positive effects” on employment by the end of 2012 and would “moderate” negative developments seen in the market during the last quarter.
“The Government is convinced that the labour reform will have medium-term positive effects on employment at the end of this year”, de Guindos said at the meeting organised by El Pais and Bankia.
He also added that with the flexibility of the reforms, Spain could have “saved” a million people from unemployment.
He referred to the reforms as the most “wide-ranging, most substantial and decisive” reforms introduced in the last 20 years. “It lays the groundwork for an effective recuperation of employment,” he explained.
Sr. de Guindos went on to say that those who “have most” should show solidarity and “pitch in” to help achieve the objective of the adjustments. “The Government will continue asking those who have more to contribute more,” he told reporters.
Diario Sur reported that de Guindos made assurances that the Government’s reform agenda “does not end here”, mentioning a reform of the regulatory bodies. He also said the reforms for the approval of business licences for opening small shops would happen “shortly”.
The minister also hinted that the economy is heading to another recession, but expressed his confidence that there is “light at the end of the tunnel”.
“The banking reform will lay the foundation for the economy to create jobs again, 2012 will be a tough year, but it will pave the way for future growth,” he concluded.