Nov 20 - Spain's economy is on a strong enough recovery path to achieve three more years of deficit reduction without further spending cuts or tax hikes. That's according to the treasury minister, but as Joanna Partridge reports many Spaniards aren't convinced.
A country where over half of under 25s are unemployed. These young people are still studying. But they say the government's public spending cuts are hurting the education system - and took their protest to the education ministry. (SOUNDBITE)(Spanish) UNIVERSITY STUDENT, MARIO, SAYING: "Public education is being privatised. It's not visible, but it is happening. This is going to lead to a situation where only rich people will be able to study, and the working class, like me, won't." The government says education reforms will improve standards. It believes more rigorous testing of students will make young people more attractive to hire. The protest comes as Spain's economy appears to be turning a corner. It recently emerged from recession. Its treasury minister has told Reuters the recovery is now strong enough to enable it to reduce the deficit over the next three years, without the need for more spending cuts or tax hikes. Spain's exports are growing - and it's been helped by the European Central Bank's recent rate cut. Madrid's borrowing costs have dropped sharply from the record highs reached during the darkest days of the debt crisis. Challenges remain - like tackling household and corporate debt and getting people back to work. But the outlook's certainly improved - even if some Spaniards need convincing.