Germany to promote investment in small business in Spain

Loja, Spain, Apr 29 (EFE).- Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday here signed an agreement to facilitate private investment in small and medium-sized firms in Spain to make a dent in the country's record jobless rate of 27.16 percent.

De Guindos and Schaeuble discussed the agreement at a press conference prior to participating in a forum on the future of the European Union in the southern Spanish city of Loja.

The Spanish minister said the accord had been under negotiation for months and will allow the governments of both countries to ease the sponsorship of private investment to push job creation in Spain.

"If a company is well-capitalized, its access to the credit market is made much easier at a much reduced cost and it allows much better financial conditions for companies that are solvent. This is the basis of the agreement," De Guindos said.

The initiative is not designed to create any kind of "exclusive club," but rather all countries in the eurozone are invited to participate, the German minister said.

De Guindos said that the initiative will be finalized in late May.

The two governments have already done cross-checking to be sure interest exists on the part of the German and Spanish governments, as well as among other countries, to participate in the initiative, and that that is because the Spanish economy is deemed to be competitive, De Guindos said.

At the meeting with De Guindos, Schaeuble expressed the support and confidence of Chancellor Angela Merkel's government for the new economic measures approved by the government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and he said that it is normal for the effects of such measures not to be visible immediately.