"We have seen important progress in Spain towards a more sustainable growth model and it is important that long-standing obstacles to growth and competitiveness are being removed. For instance, the labour market reform has been moving forward and now it needs to be complemented with policies to help the unemployed find new work or training opportunities."
Speech by Vice-President Olli Rehn "Growth and jobs and the role of social partners in Europe" at the ETUC 40th anniversary conference in Madrid
"The figures speak for themselves: between 2000 and 2011, altogether 2.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. (570,000 in Germany, 750,000 in France, 370,000 in Italy and 750,000 in Spain). When you add to this picture the high debt levels, the rapid population ageing and the fact that no less than 52% of social spending of the whole world today takes place in Europe, you get the picture of the burden that the European productive economy has to carry in order to sustain our social model – our way of living. "
"I am looking forward to working with you Jeroen, over the coming two years, when many more important decisions will have to be taken, in order to help steer the euro area from stabilisation to sustained recovery, and to take forward the rebuilding of our Economic and Monetary Union."
"Our patient may be out of intensive care, but it will still take some time before she can be given a clean bill of health. That's why any lapse into complacency would be unforgiveable. We need to stay the reform course to revitalise the European economy."