–Adds Commission Quote That Close Contact With Spain Is “Quite Normal”

BRUSSELS (MNI) – The European Commission is in “close contact” with
the Spanish government over a new package of structural reform measures
to be announced next week, a Commission spokesman said.

But the spokesman denied that the upcoming reforms represented a
“proto-program” that would serve as the basis for an official aid
request by Spain from Europe’s bailout funds.

“Taking forward structural reforms is the best way for Spain to
restore confidence,” the spokesman told the midday press briefing.

“It is quite normal that the Commission should have particularly
close contacts and be particuarly closely consulted ahead of the
adoption of next week’s upgraded national reform program,” he added.

Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos told the Eurogroup meeting
in Nicosia, Cyprus last week that Spain would present a “national plan
of reforms to boost growth and competitiveness.”

The reforms are expected to be based on European Commission
recommendations issued in May that urged Spain to raise its retirement
age, shift more taxes from labor to consumption and to pursue efforts to
make its labor market more flexible.

–Paris newsroom, +33142715540; jduffy@marketnews.com

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