Brussels, 27 September 2012
Comments by Vice-President Olli Rehn on the publication of Spanish Structural Reform Plan
"The comprehensive reform plan announced today by the Spanish authorities is a major step to broaden and deepen structural reforms, building on important achievements made already. The reform plan includes concrete, ambitious and well-focused measures and establishes clear deadlines in many areas.
This new structural reform plan responds to the country specific recommendations issued to Spain under the European semester and goes even beyond them in some areas. The reforms are clearly targeted at some of the most pressing policy challenges. Further enhancing the flexibility of product and labour markets will indeed be critical to boost growth and employment and to support fiscal consolidation.
I particularly welcome the ambitious plans to establish an independent Fiscal Council, to further liberalise professional services, and to effectively reduce the fragmentation of the internal market in Spain. Labour market measures complement past reforms of collective bargaining and employment protection. The planned reform of the vocational education system is particularly pertinent.
Spain is facing important challenges to correct very sizable macroeconomic imbalances which require a comprehensive policy response. The measures announced today are a further important step towards addressing these challenges. "