Midwest Correspondent
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Jan 31, 2013

Spain’s Rajoy, ruling party deny secret payment scheme

MADRID (Reuters) – Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Spain’s ruling People’s Party denied on Thursday that the party made unofficial payments from business donors to the premier and other party leaders after a newspaper published what it said were secret party accounts.

El Pais published images of excerpts of almost two decades of handwritten accounts that it said were maintained by People’s Party treasurers. El Pais said the accounts showed 11 years of payments to Rajoy of 25,200 euros ($34,200) a year.

Jan 28, 2013

Spain’s Rajoy adds some stimulus to the austerity

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s conservative prime minister is preparing a package of small measures – such as tax breaks for young entrepreneurs – to stimulate the economy even as he vows to stick to budget cuts.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose popularity has plummeted after a year in the job, will announce the steps on February 20 in his first State of the Union address in an effort win back public trust after severe spending cuts.

Jan 25, 2013

Spanish newspaper sorry for “false photo” of Venezula’s Chavez

MADRID/CARACAS (Reuters) – Spain’s influential El Pais newspaper apologized on Thursday for splashing a “false photo” of Venezuela’s cancer-stricken leader Hugo Chavez on its front page, prompting a furious response from the government in Caracas, which vowed to take legal action.

Within minutes of posting the image online as a global exclusive, El Pais said it had discovered from social media that the photo was not of Chavez. It removed it from its website and withdrew its print edition.

Jan 24, 2013

Spain newspaper sorry for “false photo” of Chavez

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s influential El Pais newspaper apologized on Thursday for publishing a “false photo” of elusive, cancer-stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, removed the image from its website and withdrew its print edition.

Chavez is currently convalescing in Cuba after undergoing surgery for cancer for the fourth time on December 11. He has not been seen publicly for six weeks, fuelling rampant speculation over how serious his condition is.

Jan 24, 2013

Spanish newspaper withdraws “false photo” of Venezuela’s Chavez

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s influential El Pais newspaper withdrew what it said was “false photo of Hugo Chavez” that it had published in its on-line and print editions on Thursday.

Venezuelan President Chavez has cancer and has been under medical treatment in Cuba where he underwent surgery in December. He has not been seen publicly for six weeks.

Jan 15, 2013

Strong T-bill showing puts Spain on debt auction roll

MADRID, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Spain saw its short-term
borrowing costs sink on Tuesday in an auction that drew strong
demand, tapping an upturn in investor sentiment to make early
inroads into its debt issuance programme for the second year

The Treasury sold 3.2 billion euros ($4.28 billion) of a
12-month bill and 2.5 billion euros of an 18-month bill. Yields
on both fell sharply, with the shorter paper dipping under 1.5

Dec 20, 2012

Rajoy counts benefits of stick-in-mud tactics

MADRID (Reuters) – Brussels may never build a monument to notoriously stubborn Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy but he has won grudging respect at home and in some quarters abroad for dragging out a request for an EU bailout.

Rajoy has resisted immense pressure from the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Spanish business leaders and even his own cabinet as he seeks the perfect political timing to ask for aid.

Dec 11, 2012

Spain beats target selling 3.9 billion euros in bills

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain sold 3.9 billion euros ($5.04 billion) of short-term debt on Tuesday, beating the target amount for the auction and shrugging off political risk contagion from Italy by securing lower borrowing costs.

The treasury sold 2.4 billion euros of a 12-month bill and 1.5 billion euros of an 18-month bill. Together they surpassed the government’s target to issue 2.5 billion to 3.5 billion euros.

Nov 26, 2012

Separatist parties win Catalonia election

BARCELONA, Spain, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Separatists in
Catalonia won a large majority in regional elections but a poor
result for the biggest local nationalist party complicates a
push for a referendum on independence from Spain.

A deep recession and high unemployment have fuelled
separatism in Catalonia, which represents a fifth of Spain’s
economy, piling political uncertainty on top of Prime Minister
Mariano Rajoy’s economic problems.

Nov 26, 2012

Catalan election weakens bid for independence from Spain

BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) – Separatists in Spain’s Catalonia won regional elections on Sunday but failed to get the resounding mandate they need to push convincingly for a referendum on independence.

Catalan President Artur Mas, who has implemented unpopular spending cuts in an economic crisis, had called an early election to test support for his new drive for independence for Catalonia, a relatively wealthy region in northeastern Spain.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is a general news correspondent for Reuters Americas based in Chicago and covering the Midwest. Previously, she was Reuters' chief correspondent in Madrid, where she covered political and economic news and ran a bureau of some 25 correspondents who wrote about everything from the debt crisis to sports. Fiona has been with Reuters since 1996 and has had assignments in Guatemala, Mexico, Chile and Argentina."
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