Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy explained Wednesday to King Juan Carlos the economic measures his Cabinet is set to approve this week, among which is a plan to raise from 400 to 450 euros ($500 to $560) the amount of aid available to unemployed people with families to support.
Spain's economic situation and the government's latest initiatives to deal with the crisis were the focus of the first weekly meeting between the king and Rajoy since returning to Madrid after their brief vacations, according to official sources commenting at the end of the meeting, which lasted about an hour.
The king and the prime minister devoted a large part of the meeting to the reform of the Prepara plan regarding aid to the unemployed, as well as the royal decree that will reform the FROB bank-restructuring fund that was created in response to the global financial crisis.
It is expected that the royal decree, the approval for which may be postponed until Friday, Sept. 1, would also establish new regulations on the sale of financial products such as preferred shares.
The decree also will set forth the general outline of the asset management agency, or "bad bank," where banks receiving public support must transfer their toxic assets stemming from the recent collapse of Spain's real-estate sector.
The segregation of non-performing loans and other impaired assets was one of the requirements of a euro-zone aid package of up to 100 billion euros ($125.2 billion) that was approved this summer for Spain's ailing banks.
The economic proposals are also dominating Rajoy's working agenda with his partners in the EU and the community institutions, which will begin next week when he receives European Council President Herman van Rompuy essentially to explain to him the need for the European summit in December to provide a road map to a fiscal and banking union.
On Sept. 6, Rajoy will also receive in Madrid German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the occasion of the Spanish-German business summit, and on the 11th he will welcome the Finnish president before traveling on the 20th to Rome to meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Rajoy also will travel to New York in late September to speak before the U.N. General Assembly.
In addition, the king and the prime minister analyzed the current national political situation and also the status of the zones affected by the recent spate of forest fires, on a day when there is special concern about the fire in the northern Spanish province of Leon that has already burned 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) and, although firefighters managed to keep it stable on Wednesday, authorities have still not declared it to be under control. EFE