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Spanish Economic Growth Reached 3.1% in 2017 - Prime Minister

© REUTERS / Chema Moya/POOLSpain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy takes his oath during a ceremony at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, October 31, 2016
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy takes his oath during a ceremony at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, October 31, 2016 - Sputnik International
MADRID (Sputnik) - The Spanish economy grew by 3.1 percent in 2017, the country's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said Tuesday, adding that the political crisis in the autonomous community of Catalonia was "the only shadow looming over the economy."

"Spain ended the year of 2017 with a growth estimated at 3.1 percent," Rajoy said at an investment forum in Madrid, pointing out in addition that 611,000 jobs had been created in the country during the year.

The Spanish leader noted, citing the government's forecasts, that until 2020, the annual growth for the Spanish economy is estimated at 2.5 percent, while the rate of employment is expected to drop to 11 percent.

READ MORE: 'EU Membership Perpetuates the Crisis': Spaxit May End Spain’s Economic Woes

According to Rajoy, the unstable political situation in Catalonia is "the only shadow looming over the economy" of Spain.

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The minister underlined, however, that if a new Catalan government that would "respect the constitutional order" were to be formed in the near future, Spain's economic growth could be higher that the current forecasts.

Catalonia held its independence referendum on October 1. On October 27, the Catalan government adopted a resolution on the region's independence from Spain. The Spanish parliament's upper house, in response, voted to invoke the Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, introducing Madrid's direct governance over the region. Rajoy then dismissed the Catalan government and its head, and called a snap parliamentary election that took place on December 21.

READ MORE: IMF Warns Spain of Economic Risks of Catalonia Tensions – IMF Chief in Spain

Although the Spanish centrist, pro-unity Citizens (Ciudadanos) political party came first in Catalan election, the region's pro-independence bloc, consisting of three political parties, won an absolute majority in the parliament, getting 70 seats.

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