Spain is on track to experience economic growth and job creation in 2014, thanks to the "imperative and necessary" policies implemented by the government to reduce the structural imbalances in the economy, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Parliament on Wednesday.
The prime minister was responding to a question from the leader of the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party, or PSOE, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, about the importance he gives to research and development spending.
Rubalcaba said R&D spending was cut by 2.5 billion euros ($3.38 billion) in 2012 and 2013, with the increase of 200 million euros ($271 million) projected for 2014 making scientists view budgets with a mixture of "despair and frustration."
A national day of mourning for science is planned in Spain on Thursday, the opposition leader said, adding that the event amounted to a day of mourning for the country's future.
Rajoy said R&D was an important factor in Spain's economic recovery "but not the only one."
Research and development will receive "maximum attention" in the future, Rajoy said.
The structural problems in Spain's economy, such as the budget deficit, exports, prices, the foreign debt and the problems in the financial industry, were the most important issues that had to be addressed, Rajoy said.
"We have crafted an economic policy that was imperative and necessary to overcome the extremely serious situation that you left us," the prime minister told Rubalcaba.
The economic problems forced the government to make tough choices that affected R&D and all areas of the budget, Rajoy said.
The prime minister said Spain was "in a very different situation" today than when he took office in late 2011, with "talk of recovery now being heard" and the country on track for economic growth and job creation in 2014. EFE