Angela Merkel is on a two day visit to Mariano Rajos hometown of Santiago de Compostela, and began the meeting with a 5km walk in a eucalyptus forest on the pilgrim route. Most of the walk was closed for media who were presented the three different stations where they could take pictures. There were eager conversations and gestures, and they were obviously in a good mood. Their common trip is seen as a symbolic support for Spain’s way back into the economic recovery.
But the main reason for the visit is supposed to be the summit to be held next Saturday at the distribution of the various top jobs in the EU. Spain has in the meeting suggested Finance Minister Luis de Guindos as President of the Eurogroup, which Merkel supports. And another top job for Miguel Arias Cañete, who has extensive experience as a former Minister for Agriculture, Food and Environment.
After the tour, they held a press conference in which Rajoy stressed that Spain is growing again, although the recovery is still slow. There is no reason for complacency, but we need to continue reforms and avoid making the same mistakes as before. “We must make structural reforms, which are sometimes difficult to explain, but which are known to promote well-being,” he argued.
The day concluded with a private dinner at El Pasaje whose specialty is Galician veal chops and seafood. Monday is set aside for the work with EU policies and international issues into focus, followed by a joint press conference and rounding with a visit to the cathedral.