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Greece must stick with reforms: Spain economy secretary

Greece may have secured its latest round of much-needed aid, but it's "extremely important... that they continue with the structural reforms and the fiscal efforts that they have initiated some years ago," Spain's economy secretary has told CNBC.

Early Wednesday morning, the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, together with the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, agreed to release a 10.3 billion euro ($11.42 billion) loan and conceded some degree of debt relief for Greece, whose economy is struggling to recover from round after round of harsh austerity measures.

"I think the Greek people have undertaken a great effort over the last years and the challenges are still very large ahead of them and we believe that they have to continue with the reforms," Inigo Fernandez de Mesa told CNBC.

Reforms are "the best way to improve growth at the end of the day," said Mesa, referencing similar fiscal reforms Spain has undertaken since 2012 when its banking system was bailed out with help from the euro zone and ECB.

"Our experience is that when you carry out structural reforms in a very serious manner, you have fruits quite soon … after three years of implementing these reforms, we are the country in the euro area with a higher growth and higher job creation so this is a positive feature that demonstrates that when you implement serious reforms, it has fruits."


Over the past few years, Spain has had to undertake drastic internal reforms and make austerity cuts as it tries to negotiate itself out of a financial crisis and combat its high unemployment rate. However, since the country has fallen into electoral deadlock, its political parties have been vying for a bigger share of the vote by promising tax cuts and loosening of austerity measures.

"What is very important is that we continue with our efforts to reduce the deficit – whatever we do with taxes will not be at the expense of slowing down the process of deficit reduction," said Mesa to CNBC.

Spain "still has many challenges ahead of us," acknowledged Mesa.

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