Palma.— King Juan Carlos welcomed the Prime Minister and national Partido Popular leader to the Marivent Palace in west Palma yesterday, the summer home of the royal family when they are on Majorca. The meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister at the summer residence has become an official event, but this was the first occasion on which Rajoy had visited as acting PM.

Speaking to journalists after talks with the King, Rajoy insisted that he would make no decision on whether or not Spain would accept a “rescue” from the European Central Bank (ECB) until the terms and conditions of what is essentially a huge loan, have been more closely examined. “We've already had a bailout of 100'000 million euros to bolster Spain's banking system,” said Rajoy. “If it appears the correct thing to do, then we'll do it again for the national government.” If Spain agreed to a second bailout, the ECB's purchase of national debt would greatly ease international financial market pressure. ‘A serious government' Meanwhile, with reference to the Partido Popular Balearic President, José Ramón Bauzá, Prime Minister Rajoy said “he's taking the regional leadership very seriously.” The PM said that in his judgement, with regard to the austerity measures that need to be imposed, Bauzá “is doing exactly what he needs to.” Rajoy, who had broken his holiday plans tocome to Palma, said that all over Spain, with regional and national governments having to tackle the problem of growing public debt, “there is little cause for rejoicing.” The PM said that politicians much prefer to announce spending plans and good news, but he claimed that if the country had gone on spending with policies similar to the previous Socialist coalition, “things would have become much worse. A major change of direction was needed.” As well as the Balearics, Rajoy said that the regions of Catalonia and Andalucia had made “a great effort” to lower their public spending. “I wish other regions of the country would follow their example,” the PM said.

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