Photo: President Dilma Rousseff
Confidence in a country’s economy “is not built solely on the sacrifices” of its citizens, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Saturday, adding that austerity “has its limits.”
In her speech to the plenary session of the 22nd Ibero-American Summit in this southern city, Rousseff weighed the European policies of austerity and fiscal discipline as a way to get out of the current economic crisis.
In addressing the crisis, the president said that to overcome it “the strategy adopted has to show concrete results for the people, offer a hopeful outlook and not just the perspective of more years of suffering.”
“The financial crisis affecting Europe today is hitting the Iberian Peninsula particularly hard,” she said, noting the complex task that Spain and Portugal have ahead of them, fortunately offset by the creativity of their societies and their capacity to overcome present problems.
The Spanish economy remains hampered by the fallout from the collapse of a long-building housing bubble, which left many of its banks saddled with toxic assets and created an overhang of unsold homes.
Spain is in recession for the second time in four years and unemployment currently stands at more than 25 percent, but the government has opted for austerity measures as it seeks to comply with European Union mandates to reduce its large budget deficit.