UPDATE 1-Spain labour reform deal likely to beat deadline

* Business leader says wants deal signed as soon as possible

* Union representative says talks intensifying

MADRID, May 25 (BestGrowthStock) – A Spanish three-way deal between
government, unions and business aimed at pushing through labour
reform is likely to be finalised before the end-May deadline,
Spanish business association CEOE said on Tuesday.

With the Greek debt crisis shaking world markets, Spain is
under pressure to overhaul its labour laws, easing the costs of
hiring and firing, in a push to restore competitiveness in the
eurozone’s fourth largest economy.

“Our wish is to sign the labour reform as soon as possible.
The three parties are agreed that the time for negotiation has
run out,” said CEOE chairman Gerardo Diaz Ferran.

He said there was broad consensus between the parties on the
issues, although he said there were still some points of
disagreement with unions.

Spain’s largest union CCOO also said on Tuesday the talks
were intensifying in order to reach an agreement by Monday. The
government has said it wants agreement by the end of this month.

The International Monetary Fund called on Monday for
far-reaching reforms of Spain’s public finances and its labour
market in order to make its economy competitive again.

Spain’s government has given the talks with unions and
business representatives until the end of May to produce a
reform of the labour market, which has the highest unemployment
rate in the euro zone at 20 percent.

The Socialist government, stuck between unions calling for
improved rights for workers and business representatives which
want greater flexibility to hire and fire, has hinted it may
pass the reform unilaterally if an agreement can’t be reached.

Europe’s slow response to a Greek debt crisis and yawning
deficits in other euro zone countries have unnerved markets over
the past six weeks, with speculative bets against the euro at
all all-time high.

Stock Market Report

UPDATE 1-Spain labour reform deal likely to beat deadline