Spain unveils budget to counter deficit

Dec. 30, 2011 at 11:54 AM

MADRID, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Spain's government said Friday its deficit was running over its target for the year, but that it would meet European Union guidelines by 2013.

The budget deficit, the government said, would come in at just under 8 percent of the gross domestic product, missing the target of 6 percent due to overspending by regional governments, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The new conservative government, however, outlined its plans for an $11.5 billion austerity budget that included a freeze on hiring and on most salaries in the public sector.

The government also plans to increase the workweek from 35 hours to 37.5 hours per week for civil servants.

"These measures form part of a package of structural reforms seeking to slash the budget deficit and revamp the economy," said Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

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