UPDATE 2-Spain’s Zapatero pushes austerity, has few allies

* Austerity needed even if it pinches growth – Zapatero

* Opposition demands more urgency on unemployment

* PM appears to court Catalan party

(Adds opposition call for elections)

By Itziar Reinlein

MADRID, July 14 (BestGrowthStock) – Prime Minister Jose Luis
Rodriguez Zapatero, facing opposition to tough spending cuts,
urged lawmakers on Wednesday to back pension reforms and other
austerity measures to lift Spain out of its economic crisis.

Opening the annual state of the nation debate in parliament,
he said the government must hold to its path of austerity in the
2011 budget, even if this restrains economic growth next year.

The large opposition conservative Popular Party (PP) and the
Catalan nationalist party CiU have said they will oppose the
2011 budget. But analysts expect Zapatero’s minority Socialist