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Zapatero says austerity averted EU bail-out

Spain would "very probably" have needed a bail-out by the European Union last year without the government's imposition of a harsh austerity plan, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Socialist prime minister, said on Friday.

Mr Zapatero was defending his record ahead of regional and municipal elections on Sunday that are likely to see the Socialists lose substantial ground to their rightwing opponents in the Popular party (PP).

He and his government now face criticism not only from the PP but from thousands of young Spaniards, many previously sympathetic to the left, who have staged demonstrations in cities across the country to protest against high unemployment and the domination of politics by the two main parties.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 10:28:58 AM EST

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