UPDATE 1-EU welcomes approval of Spanish austerity plan

* EU Commission welcomes approval of Spanish austerity plan

* Says it is a step in the right direction

(Adds quotes)

BRUSSELS, May 28 (BestGrowthStock) – The European Commission said on
Friday the Spanish government’s austerity plan was a step in the
right direction and expressed satisfaction that it had been
approved by the Spanish parliament.

Spain’s governing Socialists won approval for the 15 billion
euro ($18.4 billion) austerity package by a single vote on
Thursday.

“Our initial impression is that these measures go in the
right direction,” Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, a spokesman for the
Commission, told reporters.

Asked if the European Union’s executive was relieved the
plan had been adopted by parliament, he said: “Additional
efforts at budget consolidation were necessary so in that
respect, yes, there is satisfaction and approval.”

The cuts are part of the Spanish government’s efforts to cut
the large budget deficit and restore confidence in Spain’s
ailing economy, which has barely edged out of recession after
two years.

The government’s plan aims to save an additional 15 billion
euros and includes wage cuts of 5 percent for civil servants
this year. It aims to cut the budget deficit to 9.3 percent of
gross domestic product this year and then to 6 percent in 2011,
down from 11.2 percent last year.

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(Reporting by Timothy Heritage, editing by Bate Felix)

([email protected]; +32 2 287 8632; Reuters
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UPDATE 1-EU welcomes approval of Spanish austerity plan