Jyrki Katainen, EU Vice-president for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, held a meeting at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao with civil society, which was attended by the First Minister (Lehendakari), Iñigo Urkullu.

Jyrki KatainenWe have extracted some of the main statements he made to EL CORREO.

“That Spain has an unemployment rate of 23% is unacceptable and unsustainable, but the positive aspect is that it is falling. There are two realities. The first is the large number of people looking for jobs, especially young people. And this is a problem of people, not statistics. The other reality is that the reforms carried out in Spain are leading to an increase in the number of jobs, domestic demand is recovering, the deficit is shrinking … Spain is on the right track, it has regained credibility and the reforms are bearing fruit, although everyone would like the recovery to be faster”.

“If we achieve growth in the Eurozone and the EU soon, the recovery in Spain will be even faster. But the big problem the country is facing is youth unemployment. If you have so many young people unemployed for too long you run the risk that they will never join the labour market again. They lose hope. This is the great challenge”.

“The crisis has caused enormous changes in a Europe in which nothing will be the same. We face many challenges that also originate from outside Europe, and our domestic structures no longer serve us as before. What can we do? I think we have to invest in research and promote the entrepreneurial spirit. You never know what may come out of research, but it will always be positive”.